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May 18, 2016

AWS Simple Email Service quickstart on Node.js

This blog post will utilize the StackLeader Node.js Docker container.

The source code for this blog post is located at:

Run the Quickstart

Clone the project locally.

 git clone [email protected]:stackleader/node-quickstarts.git
 cd node-quickstarts/aws/ses/send
 npm install
 docker pull stackleader/node

Next, you will need to login into your AWS account, setup AWS SES, and create AWS IAM credentials for AWS SES.

AWS SES Configuration

Navigate to the SES control panel in AWS or follow the link below.

First, you must verify the domain that you want to send from. Select Identity Management->Domains->Verify a New Domain. Type in your domain and select Generate DKIM Settings. DKIM will improve your mail acceptance. If you use Route 53 (DNS by AWS) then the next step will try to add the records automatically. If not, just add the records at your dns provider.

Adding aws ses domain

It takes a few minutes for the domain to be verified once the dns changes are published. The domain status will change from pending to verified.

Next, verify a sending email address by selecting Identity Management->Email Addresses->Verify a New Email Address. Add a valid email address that you want to send from and select Verify this Email Address. AWS will send an email with a verification link fairly quickly after submission.

If this is your first time using AWS SES then you will have sending restrictions. You must request to have the restrictions lifted from the SES console. Until the limits are lifted, you can only send emails to your verified email addresses.


Navigate to the IAM control panel in AWS or follow the link below

Select Users->Create New Users. Input a username and check Generate an access key for each user. Download or save the generated Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. Select Close when done.

Now that a user is generated, return to the Users list and select the new user. Click on the Permissions tab for the user. Select attach policy. Search for AmazonSESFullAccess, select it, and then Attach Policy. You have successfully created a user capable of sending SES email!

Node.js project configuration

Create a properties.txt file at node-quickstarts/aws/ses/send/properties.txt with the following contents.


Run the app from the node-quickstarts/aws/ses/send directory using the node Docker container.

docker run -it --rm -p 5000:5000 -v "$PWD":/usr/src/app -w /usr/src/app stackleader/node

Test firing off an email!

curl -v -X POST -d 'to=REPLACE_WITH_SES_VALIDATED_EMAIL&subject=test&message=Hello world' http://localhost:5000/message