Sending Emails using AWS SES [NodeJS]

Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) can significantly improve your email deliverability and is an incredibly powerful and easy to use solution from Amazon.

AWS have tons of services for everything. SES stands for **Simple Email Service (Yeas it sends Emails).**In this article I will go through

  • Setting up Email for SES
  • Setting up SNS to get notified about Email events from SES (Delivery , errors etc.)
  • Using templates to send emails using aws-sdk for javascript


By default AWS SES only provides us a sandbox environment in order to prevent spamming. In this you will only be able to send and receive emails from verified email addresses.

Go to Simple Email Service (SES) >> Email Addresses

Click on Verify a new Email Address and enter the email you want to use. Now go to your email provider and click on the verification link. You should see your verified email , under email address identities.

That’s it. If you want to leave from sandbox env. to production you need to contact Support center and create a case.There you will get a form to fill it’s pretty straight forward. So I am not going to dig into that part.

Setup Event Notifications for SES

  • [These steps are optional , But I highly recommend you to configure the SNS . I skipped this step at first and end up pulling my hair to figure what happened to the emails I sent :P]

Even if we get a successful callback from the SES api , it only means that email message has been accepted by the SES. It doesn’t guarantee that message will be delivered.For this reason we need to configure SES to send event notifications through Amazon SNS(Simple Notification Service)

  1. Create a topic in SNS

Go to SNS Console click on create a topic , give your topic a name and a display name.

Copy topic ARN because we require it for the next step.

2 . Subscribe to a topic

In order to receive the messages published to a topic, we have to subscribe an endpoint to that topic.This could be a mobile app, server , lambda or email. For this article I am going to use email as an endpoint.

open SNS Console and click on Create Subscription

Paste the topic ARN we got in the previous step.In the protocol choose email. As you can see we have many options to get notified here.

In the endpoint box, type an email you can use to receive the notification. Ideal approach will be using a lambda as an endpoint and log the messages in the CloudWatch. But for this article I am using email to keep things simple.

Once you successfully create the subscription you will receive an email to the address you provided with a confirmation link.

  1. Set up SNS Event Destination for SNS Event Publishing

We need to enable SNS Event Destination service to get notified about specific email events . We can only use this within a configuration set only. Configuration Setallows us to publish email sending events such as bounces, complaints, deliveries, sent emails, and rejected emails

  • Open SES Console, Choose Configuration Setsfrom left pane.
  • Click on Create Configuration Set, give it a name

  • Choose the configuration set you created.For Add Destinationchoose SNSas the destination type.

  • Make sure you select Enabled, Give a name and choose the event types that you want to get notified. Rendering Failureevent will be triggered only if you are sending your emails using Templates. I will explain about this in a while.
  • Select the topic that you created in the previous steps.

Sending Emails using SES API

For this article I am using AWS SDK for javascript. I will demonstrate on how to use SES API to

  • Send text/html email
  • Send emails using templates
  1. Send text/html email

**ToAddresses:**This param takes an array of email addresses that you want to send your mail.

**Body.Html.Data:**HTML message template. All the styles have to be inline

**Body.Subject.Data:**Subject of the email

**Source:**Email address of the sender

**ConfigurationSetName:**Configuration Set name that we created in previous topic (Ignore if you don’t want to receive any notifications)

  1. Send emails using templates

In SES you can define a email template which contains Subject line, text and Htmlparts of the email body. Also we can include replacement variables to send personalized emails.I feel like this is very clean and neat approach since we don’t have to maintain html parts inside our project code.

  • Creating a template

I. Using AWS CLI

  • Create a json file with following attributes
  • Now you can use AWS CLI to publish this template to SES by executing command below

aws ses create-template --cli-input-json <<path to template.json

(Make sure your CLI version is up to date to execute above command)


node ses_createTemplate.js

Run above command and if you put everything right you will be getting a templateId and you can view the templates you created in the SES Console.One annoying thing about this console is you can’t edit or view the templates from console it self(I know such a pain).

**TemplateName —**Name of the email template,When we are sending emails we will be referring to this.

**SubjectPart —**Subject of the email.What’s in the curly braces are the replacement tags. Once we are sending the email we can tell what values should be in these tags.

**HtmlPart —**Html part of the email. You can use most of the css as far as they are inline.replacement tags can be added here too.

**TextPart —**If the receiver is not able to render the HTML tags this will be shown.

Once you have completed the above step you can see your template name Here

Alright now all we have to do is to send the email.

**Source —**Email address of the sender

**ConfigurationSetName —**Configuration Set name that we created in previous topic (Ignore if you don’t want to receive any notifications)

**Template —**Name of the email template we created earlier

**Destination.ToAddresses:**This param takes an array of email addresses that you want to send your mail.

**TemplateData —**A JSON object that contains key-value pairs. The keys must be replacement tag name in the template.

Once you send out the emails you will receive a messageId and a requestId.Also if you have added the configuration steps you should be receiving events about email as well.

So that’s all folks,Please let me know if you come across any issues in comments I will try to help out as far as I can :D

Happy coding!

For more tech tutorials from Charith, check out his blog on Medium