Amazon Simple Email Service – SMTP in the Cloud

Amazon Web Services

As a user of Amazon Web Services, I occasionally get emails from them announcing new services or inviting me to take part in some beta or other.  Last week I received an email announcing Amazon Simple Email Service.

Amazon SES is primarily a developers tool.  It is specifically for those who wish to create their own email delivery/marketing systems as opposed to using an Email Service Provider’s (ESP) platform.  It is basically SMTP in the cloud.  Amazon is allowing developers to deliver both transactional and bulk (a.k.a marketing) email messages through their email servers, for a very small price.  This service promises to remove the burden of scalability, email server configuration, IP Address reputation management, ISP Feedback loop registration and other infrastructure issues related to deliverability and sending large amounts email.  All the developer needs to worry about is creating the email (html or plain text) and passing it to Amazon for delivery.

Many Email Service Providers (ESPs) offer Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that can be used in a similar fashion but with the virtually limitless scalability of Amazon Web Services and a pricing model that is, in most cases, significantly more cost effective it makes one wonder what impact this service will have on the Email Service Provider market. I’m also anxious to see the number of additional ESPs that will start up with Amazon SES as their foundation – that could spell some trouble for the highly profitable email service industry.

Do you think Amazon SES will have an impact ESP’s?  What about those that work with large enterprises and are charging large fees just to access their API?

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