Amazon launches Simple Email Service
Amazon has launched a new API for sending email "in the cloud" called Simple Email Service.
Like other Amazon services, one of the biggest draws—besides using the solid infrastructure—is the pricing. You can send up to 2,000 emails a day absolutely free. After that, you're looking at 10 cents per thousand emails and 15 cents per GB of data transfer.
Some basic list management functionalities such as tracking bouncebacks and marked-as-spam are included but all other list management functionality is not. This is a simple API designed for people who wish to manage the process on their own and would be a great addition to those who are using other Amazon Web Services.
My first question was, "How do they stop spammers?" Amazon scans each email before it goes out and if it has questionable data, they'll stop it from sending. Good to know.
Impact on the market
My next thought was, "What does CampaignMonitor and MailChimp think of this?" To be clear, SES is not a direct competitor to either of these services. CampaignMonitor and MailChimp provide plenty of tools and a great interface for managing email campaigns and lists.
My thought goes in two directions.
One, could or would these services shift any of their infrastructure to take advantage of the SES services. I could foresee an adjusted pricing structure and a spot where I could enter my AWS API key.
The second thought I had is related in that other services could pop up that are full management applications like CampaignMonitor and MailChimp but built on the SES service and possibly providing more cost effective solutions. I would not be surprised to see at least a couple services running within the next six months doing just that.
For more direct competition, you'd need to look at Postmark which, like SES, provides an API for you to integrate email services easily with your web application. That they have API code for a number of languages is already an advantage over Amazon's service.
It'll be interesting to see how the market evolves over the next year.