What is AWS SES and AWS SNS? | Intellipaat

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Updated on 24th May, 23 5.1 K Views

Amazon SNS and AWS SES are some of the most critical services that are being extensively used in various organizations. In this What is Amazon SES and SNS in AWS tutorial you will be take into the depths of AWS SES and SNS. You will learn how SNS and SES work, their use cases, benefits and more.

The topics which we will in this tutorial section is given below:

Watch this Amazon SNS and SES Overview video


What is Amazon SNS?

Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) is a messaging service. SNS is highly available, durable, secure, and full management publisher/subscriber service. Using Amazon SNS you can create messaging services for distributed systems and serverless applications.

Amazon SNS provides topics which is a push-based, many-to-many messaging service which could be used to send messages from publishers to multiple subscribers endpoints.

A push-based messaging service means, when a publisher sends a message instead of storing them they are immediately pushed to the receiver.

Notifications from AWS SNS can be sent by Push mechanism or SMS or through Emails.

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How does AWS SNS work?

Let us now see the exact workflow of the Simple Notification Service.

How does SNS work
  1. The publisher or the message sender will send the required notifications which has to be sent to his subscribers.
  2. Now, after the messages are published it first enters in the SNS service which has to components:
    • AWS SNS topic – Using a topic you can separate messages which have to be sent to multiple, different subscribers.
    • Message filter and Fanout – The decoupled messages from the topics enter the filter. The messages are filtered according to the subscriber’s policies for messages. After the policies are checked and permissions are given, the messages are sent to the respective subscribers
  3. Subscribers can be any service. Subscribers are users who show willingness to receive messages from SNS. The subscribers leave a piece of data such as URL, email address, phone number, etc for them to receive a message.

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Benefits of Amazon SNS

The four key benefits of Amazon SNS are:

  • Reliability
  • Message Filtering
  • Automatic Scalability
  • Secure
Benefits of amazon SNS


Amazon SNS uses cross Availability Zone message storing which makes the messages available in multiple regions at the same time. Also, AWS’s huge network of data centers allows a publisher to send messages across the world. This makes Amazon SNS a highly available service.

Message Filtering

Using message filtering, the subscribers will only receive messages which they have shown interest on.

Automatic Scalability

AWS allows your application which is using Amazon SNS to scale dynamically with the number of message requests.

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By providing policies and setting up permissions for SNS topics, you can restrict who can publish or subscribe. Also, the number of messages one can publish a day and also keep sensitive information sent through messages like OTPs for bank transactions safe. You can also encrypt your message data using encryption keys.

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What is Amazon SES?

what is amazon SES

Amazon Simple Email Service is a email sending service via cloud. This is mainly developed for marketers and developers to send business and transactional emails.

AWS SES can be used by businesses of any size that needs to send emails to its customers on a daily basis. It is also reliable because of AWS’s proven infrastructure. Using AWS SDKs you can implement SES into your application or existing application.

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How does AWS SES work?

AWS SES working is very similar to that of normal Email sending applications. Now let us see how it works.

How does SNS work?
  1. Sender (an application) sends a request to the Amazon SES to send emails to one or more recipients
  2. Then if AWS SES accepts the request, the mail will be sent to the specific ISPs of the recipients.
  3. Then the ISP checks whether the email address is available or not. If it is available then the email is sent to the recipient.
    • If the email address is not found, a bounce request will be sent back to AWS SES which goes all the way to the Sender stating it is wrong
    • Also, if the Recipient identifies the mail as a Spam, virus or phishing then the recipient can fail a complaint to the ISP which transfers it to SES. If found as spam, the policies will restrict the sender.
how does SNS work

This is the extended version of sending emails using SES. The working is the same but the process of sending the email which first goes through the SNS topic and AWS Lambda. Finally reaching the email address of any Email providers.

Benefits of Amazon SES

The benefits of using Amazon SES are

  • High Deliverability
  • Cost-effective
  • Configurable
Benefits of Amazon SES

High Deliverability

There are a lot of features in Amazon SES such as content filtering, IP addresses which are dedicated for only sending, and also a reputation dashboard for a sender which he could maintain the sender reputation. The higher the sender reputation, the higher the number of messages your customers’ inboxes.


You can use pay as you go model of AWS and only pay for the services and resources you use. No upfront costs or fixed costs, the cost varies on your monthly usage of the service. Also your first 62,000 emails are free when sent from an application which is hosted on Amazon EC2 and there is no end for this free offer.


You can use configuration sets to create rules that can be applied on the emails you send using Amazon EC2. Also, using Amazon CloudWatch you could do a detailed analysis of your email metrics and also receive notifications using Amazon SNS.

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Use cases of Amazon SES

Send Transactional Messages

You can send automated messages for orders’ confirmation, order arriving, or a subscription end date.

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Send Notifications

Also, Amazon SES users receive constant notification on their Sender reputation, health, and metrics of it. Also, you can set that your users receive notification whenever a mail is sent.

Receive Incoming Email

You can use Amazon SES to receive emails. Or you can programmatically direct the incoming emails to a S3 bucket.

Send Marketing Communication

Send promotional content, offers, discounts, and new product information using Amazon SES and its high-quality in sending emails.

Amazon SNS and SES pricing

Amazon SNS Pricing

Endpoint TypeFree TierPrice
Mobile Push Notification1 million$0.50 per million
Worldwide SMS100$0.00645 per SMS
Email1000$2.00 per 100,000
HTTP/s100,000$0.60 per million
Simple Queue ServiceNo charge
Lambda functionsNo charge

Amazon SES Pricing

Service usedHow much you payAdditional charges
Sending an email from an EC2 instance in which your application is hostedFree till 62,000 emails you send each month. $0.10 for every 1000 emails after that$0.12 for each GB of attachments
Sending email from an email client or other software package$0.10 for every 1000 emails you send.$0.12 for each GB of attachments
Receiving emailsFree for 1000 emails received. $0.10 for 1000 emails after that$0.09 for every 1000 email chunks

Hope this tutorial on what is Amazon SES and SNS helps. If you would like to pursue AWS in more depth then do check out our AWS Master Certification

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