Amazon SES (how it’s done)

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I tried twice this morning to record a video showing you how to setup Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) with the MailWizz software for really cheap and effective emailing, and both times it was foiled.

What with builders, gardeners and mothers here, there’s either someone someone blowing leaves, building scaffolding or calling dogs.

None of which is condusive to video recording.

So… I decided I would just write it instead!

Amazon SES looks complicated to setup, but in reality it’s pretty easy. If you haven’t got one already, create yourself an account http://console.aws.amazon.com

Then search for Simple Email Service:

Once you’re on the Simple Email Service (SES) page it will look like this:


You have to first approve your identity in order to be able to send through the SES service.

There are two ways to do this, domain or email address. Personally I always do it through domain because this means you can send from any email address associated with that domain, rather than having to approve each email address separately.

Hit the Verify New Domain button:


And then enter your domain details. It’s important to make sure that you check the box called Generate DKIM Settings.

This will create a page with a load of settings on it, all you need to worry about is downloading them as a CSV file.

You can download that CSV file on this link:

Once you’ve downloaded this file, send it over to your hosting company and ask them to add the DKIM records in the file to the domain you’re verifying.

After they’ve done this for you, it can take 48 hours for everything to propogate and Amazon will mark the domain as verified.

You don’t need to wait for them to mark the domain as verified to begin sending though.

To begin sending we need to create a User and add to that user the required rights to send emails through Amazon.

It’s a simple process, and this is how it’s done…

To create the user you need to go to IAM, it’s an annoying name and probably one you’ll forget, but try not to!

Once you’re in there, select Users and then Add User, like this:

Once you’ve done that you need to create a username and decide on the type of access the user will have:

Put in whatever username you like, but make sure you choose “Programmatic Access”, and then click the Next Permissions button.

The next permissions page is all important, it’s where your user will be allowed to send emails from your account. It looks like this:

You want to choose “Attach Existing Policies Directly” and then in the search bar look for:

AmazonSESFullAccess

Click the checkbox next to it:

Then search for:

AmazonSNSFullAccess

Click the checkbox next to it and press the Next Review button in the bottom right.

You should end up on a page that looks like the following picture.


If your page looks the same, hit the Create User button, and you’ve finished with the hardest part of the process.

You will now get an Access Key and a Secret Access Key, like the following…

Press the Show link to show the Secret Access Key and keep a record of both, somewhere safe, you’re gonna need them shortly.

There’s one last stage (for the moment) in Amazon, and that’s getting your SMTP credentials which you do by going here:


You need the Server Name, make a note of it and…

…have a tea break 😉

Come back with a fresh head for the final stages of the process 🙂

The final stage is to add your Amazon SES into MailWizz so you can begin sending emails.

To do this you need to go to the Servers > Delivery Servers page, which is here:

Once on this page you to create a New Server and choose Amazon SES Web API.

It’s right here:

This will bring you to a page with the following details:

Enter the Name that you want to call the server, you can put anything you like. The Hostname is the Amazon Server Name, and the Access Key and Secret Access Key are the ones you got from Amazon earlier.

In the From Email and From Name put what you want to go in by default, you can override this later on a list-by-list basis.

Everything else can remain the same.

Hit the Save button at the bottom of the page and you will be asked to send a test email.

Now here’s the thing…

When you first send an email, including the test one above, you will only be able to send to an email address that is from the domain you verified with Amazon earlier.

Send a few test emails to yourself and when all is working request full access from the Sending Statistics page (top right if I remember correctly). When this is given you will be able to send emails to any email address.

Before you start sending however, send an email to:

https://www.mail-tester.com/

If there are any issues here, send then link to the results to your hosting provider and ask them to fix the issues that are appearing.

When they’ve done that check using Mail-Tester again until you get a 10/10 score.

And… you’ve got yourself a complete emailing system setup for a fraction of the price of an autoresponder.

Howzaboutthat!

Michael

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1 Comment
  • Ban kole
    July 7, 2019

    You’ve done a great job Michael. I’ve never seen such a breakdown as simple as this on the tough issue with mailwizz as this. I’m very grateful to come across this. You’re amazing. You’re the best