SESWe’ve been doing an internal review this week of mass email providers. We’ve been trying out various providers, going over the pros and cons and so on. Imagine my surprise to see that Amazon has entered the email sending game.

Sort of.

They’ve launched a new service called Amazon Simple Email Service, or SES for short. This service will allow you to send emails through their cloud infrastructure at a greatly reduced price. On the AWS blog, they say:

You’ll be able to send email without having to worry about the undifferentiated heavy lifting of infrastructure management, configuring your hosts for optimal sending, and the like. Amazon SES also provides you with access to a number of metrics that will provide you with the feedback needed to tune your email strategy to maximize deliverability.

The big difference is that you’ll send your emails through an API instead of a nice, friendly environment like say Constant Contact. I’m sure that very soon, someone will write a wrapper for the API that takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of the process. You do, however, get analytics data such as deliverability stats.

Pricing seems pretty reasonable as well. Email messages are charged at $0.10 per thousand messages. If you are using an EC2 server to send your messages, you get 2,000 messages a day free.

To send 1,000 emails at say Campaign Monitor would cost you $15. Yes, that’s a bit of comparing apples to oranges, but if there’s a very nice easy to use system built on top of SES, you could see some pretty decent savings.

This is interesting and worth keeping an eye on going forward.