I'm using two providers:

  • regular hosting provider for my emails
  • amazon SES for sending emails in bulk, like a newsletter

What bothers me is that if I send a newsletter, the Delivery Status Notification (Failure) messages come back to my inbox instead of just notifying amazon and my newsletter system. It looks like follows:

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Below is my dream scenario:

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I'm pretty sure I could do it by setting a MX record for a subdomain, like mailing.mydomain.com and route the traffic to amazon. But then the sending email would look like newsletter@mailing.mydomain.com. It is not a big deal but I am curious if there is another way.

Is there a way to achieve this with and email that looks like this: newsletter@mydomain.com? With all other emails in this domain working on a separate provider.


Amazon SES does not have automatic bounce processing as far as I know. I used it for a newsletter and I didn't find a way to implement bounce handling that didn't involve writing code. I don't think it is as simple as pointing the bounce messages to SES using a subdomain.

I simply created a mailbox in my third party email provider for "newsletter". I then created a cron job to POP that mailbox hourly and handle the bounce. I was able to handle about 90% of the emails in there automatically. The cron job would alter the user records in my database to automatically unsubscribe users from the email lists when I got hard bounces or complaints.

The remaining 10% of emails were mostly spam, but I had my bounce processor forward them for manual review.

  • What software did you use for sending the newsletter? I'm using mailtrain and it seems to have features for handing bounces. I was hoping the issue is that amazon can't get these emails – Marcin Kunert Feb 25 '19 at 13:18
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    I wrote my own code to send the emails. If you are using third party software on top of SES it may have bounce functionality built in. You may be able to connect it to a mailbox on your normal email system. I know you can connect the Amazon messaging queues to a mailbox. – Stephen Ostermiller Feb 25 '19 at 13:30

Some time passed I'm a bit more experienced so I might as well answer my own question.

Amazon SES as the email sender receives the bounces automatically. This is how the mailing servers work: they have to receive an approval from the receiving server in order to mark the email as delivered. If it's not possible the mail will be queued in a deferred queue for some time (usually 1-3 days - it's configurable).

If the receiver has an autoresponder the message will end up where the MX record points to.

Additionally using Amazon SNS (Simple Notification Service) the bounces can trigger for example a webhook. This is how Mailtrain handles it.

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