Amazon SES vs SendGrid: Which One Should You Choose For Building Sender Reputation?

amazon ses vs sendgrid cover image with an image of a palette grid

Ensuring your emails arrive in recipients’ inboxes is the first step toward achieving results in email marketing. Both Amazon SES and SendGrid offer security measures to protect your sender reputation and increase inbox placement.

Amazon SES is a cloud-based service popular for sending transactional emails. The platform seamlessly integrates with other Amazon Web Services products, allowing users to add email-sending capabilities to any application. With Amazon SES, you only pay for what you use, including dedicated, shared, or owned IP addresses.

SendGrid is an email service provider that allows users to send mass marketing emails. Its focus is strictly on emails with many integrations and email APIs. The platform lets you take control of your sender reputation by providing dedicated IP services for an extra fee.

With numerous features and cost-effective plans, choosing between the two platforms can become a frustrating experience. To make the decision-making process more accessible, we’ll compare each platform’s pros and cons in detail.

Amazon SES vs SendGrid: Which One is Better?

Amazon SES homepage
Amazon SES Homepage
SendGrid Homepage
SendGrid Homepage

Both Amazon SES and SendGrid prioritize inbox placement and have robust marketing features. Although they share similarities, one platform might be a better fit for your needs.

Understanding the following features they have will help you pick the best option:

  • Email deliverability,
  • Sender reputation tools,
  • Ease of use,
  • Integration,
  • Automation,
  • List management,
  • Pricing.

Email Deliverability 

Whether transactional or marketing emails, deliverability ensures your messages reach your recipients’ inboxes. Amazon SES and SendGrid prioritize inbox placement through robust email infrastructure and sender reputation tools.

Amazon SES monitors every email sent through the platform to ensure that the service isn’t used to deliver low-quality or malicious emails. While the service implements tools and features to maintain inbox placement rates, its deliverability rates aren’t clear.

The platform offers dedicated deliverability managers to monitor and improve email sending and inbox placement. Virtual deliverability managers help you focus on the problematic areas through a dedicated dashboard with detailed views. The advisor suggests ways to improve deliverability rates by flagging configuration issues that negatively impact your sender reputation.

SendGrid claims to have a 99% deliverability rate on average. The platform provides deliverability insights and offers a complete view of email performance. This includes an overview and information about mailbox providers, bounced and blocked messages, spam, and unsubscribes.

The service has dedicated deliverability managers and a suite of tools such as authentication protocols, branded links, email alerts, and reputation scores. 

Feature Amazon SESSendGrid
Dedicated deliverability manager⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Anti-spam measures ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Detailed deliverability analytics⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon SES vs Sendgrid — Email Deliverability Feature

The Verdict: It’s a tie. Both platforms implement strict email authentication protocols and provide access to dedicated deliverability managers.

Sender Reputation Tools

Sender reputation directly impacts email deliverability. Amazon SES and SendGrid claim they use good email-sending practices to maintain it.

Amazon SES leverages massive infrastructure to ensure emails are sent and received efficiently. The service actively monitors email metrics that could ruin your sender reputation. It majorly focuses on bounce and complaint rates to determine the health of your account.

You can set reputation alarms using Amazon CloudWatch and pause email sending when your reputation crosses a certain threshold. Users can also set notifications about anti-spam organization, domain blocklist, and Mailbox provider alerts, among other use cases. 

Amazon SES Sender Reputation Page
Amazon SES Sender Reputation Page

SendGrid has a user-friendly dashboard to access all email metrics, email alerts, and reputation scores to help identify delivery issues. The platform lets you add a dedicated IP address to solve common deliverability issues, which enables you to send a large volume of emails.

The ‘Separate sending’ feature allows you to distinguish sender reputation for different campaigns, such as marketing and transactional emails. For a better reputation score, you can purchase 3 additional IP addresses for $30 each per month.

Sendgrid email deliverability page
Sendgrid email deliverability page
Feature Amazon SESSendGrid
Dedicated IP addresses ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Reputation monitoring ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Spam filters ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon SES vs SendGrid — Sender Reputation Feature

The Verdict: It’s a tie. Both platforms offer user-friendly reputation monitoring tools, but Amazon SES requires more technical expertise to handle them.

Ease of Use

SendGrid and Amazon SES have slightly different approaches to user experience and navigation.

Amazon SES has well-documented APIs but is not easy to set up without technical expertise — the integration with applications require coding. The SES interface is basic with a focus on functionality rather than aesthetics and ease of use. This could feel overwhelming for beginners since the navigation is time-consuming. SES users review that the platform is a bit challenging when setting up SMTP servers within an email application. 

SendGrid boasts a user-friendly interface with intuitive navigation, including documentation and tutorials to guide you through the setup process. Surfing through the submenus could be time consuming, but it becomes easier once you get used to the interface.

Feature Amazon SESSendGrid
User-friendly interface⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Easy onboarding and setup ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Organized navigation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sendgrid vs SES — Ease of use Feature

The Verdict: SendGrid shines in terms of ease of use and intuitive navigation.


Both platforms offer integration with other marketing tools and applications. If you’re a developer, Amazon SES could be the right choice. Similarly, if you need simpler and more direct integration, SendGrid can help.

Amazon SES seamlessly integrates with other AWS services. You can use it with Amazon EC2, or AWS Elastic Beanstalk to create an email-enabled application to send marketing newsletters. You can set up Amazon SNS to notify you of emails that bounced, produced complaints, or were delivered to your recipients. 

SendGrid provides integration with AWS products and other tools such as Simon, FullContact, and eDataSource. The platform allows access to 100+ integrations with other ESPs, including Klaviyo and Litmus, and CRM systems such as AgileCRM. The platform focuses on one-click integration with Facebook custom audiences and analytics.

Feature Amazon SESSendGrid
Custom development ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
One-click integration ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Data security ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon SES vs SendGrid — Integration Feature

The Verdict: SendGrid offers better integration with diverse tools, making it a better choice in this case.

Email Automation 

Amazon SES offers limited built-in automation functionalities, while SendGrid boasts powerful workflows. Choosing one depends on the complexity of automation needed for your business.

Amazon SES provides basic automation functions through the management console, AWS SDKs, and AWS Command Line. AWS provides SDKs for various programming such as Python, Java, and JavaScript. You can use the SDKs to integrate Amazon SES into your emails and automate email sending.

SendGrid helps create personalized experiences to welcome new subscribers, nurture attendees ahead of an event, and follow up with leads who interact with your content. You can automate recurring emails and time-based drip series, and define rules for when recipients should stop receiving emails.

Feature Amazon SESSendGrid
Developer-centric approach ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Drag and drop workflow editor ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pre-built workflow automation templates⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon SES vs SendGrid — Email Automation Feature

The Verdict: For email automation, SendGrid is the clear winner. It allows you to create custom automation and add categories for quicker comparison across campaigns.

Email List Management

Email list management refers to organizing and updating subscriber details in an email list. Both Amazon SES and SendGrid offer list management tools.

Using the ListContacts operation in Amazon SES, you can access the list of subscribers who have opted-in to receive a certain topic. Each list can have a maximum of 20 topics. However, only one contact list is allowed per Amazon Web Services account, which can make it challenging for clients with massive email lists and categories.

With SendGrid, you can add and update contacts using streamlined CSV uploads, use the contacts API for real-time updates, and create targeted manual lists for dynamic segments. The platform also shows when to stop sending emails to maintain a healthy email list by indicating email engagement rates.

Feature Amazon SESSendGrid
Automated unsubscribes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sign-up forms and landing pages⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
List-hygiene features⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon SES vs SendGrid — List Management Feature

The Verdict: SendGrid wins this round with its emphasis on advanced segmentation and list-hygiene tools.

Amazon SES vs SendGrid: Choosing the Best Pricing Structure 

Amazon SES uses a pay-as-you-go model, while SendGrid’s lowest plan starts at 50k emails.

Choosing the right pricing structure depends on your business requirements and budget.

Let’s compare both platforms to understand which is more reasonable for your needs.

Amazon SES offers a free tier for up to 3000 messages for the first 12 months. 

Service Type Price Additional Charges
Outbound email from EC2$0.10/1000 emails$0.12 per gigabyte (GB) of data in the attachments you send
Outbound email from non-EC2$0.10/1000 emails$0.12 per gigabyte (GB) of data in the attachments you send
Inbound email$0.10/1000 emails$0.09 for every 1,000 incoming email chunks 
Inbox deliverability manager$0.0005/1000 queriesFirst 5,000 queries each month are free
Amazon SES – Pricing structure 

SendGrid charges by the number of emails and pricing depends on whether you need an API or marketing plan.

SendGrid Pricing PlansPriceFeatures Included
Free $0 / month ‣ Design and code editors
‣ Segmentation
‣ A/B testing 
‣ 3 Email Testing Credits 
‣ 1 Signup Form
‣ 1 Teammate
‣ Ticket support
‣ Automation
Basic Starts at $15 / month ‣ Everything on the Free plan +
‣ 10 Email Testing Credits
‣ 5 Signup forms
‣ Ticket and chat support
Advanced Starts at $60 / month ‣ Everything on basic plan 
‣ 60 Email Testing Credits
‣ 15 Signup Forms
‣ Guaranteed response times on ticket, chat, and phone support
‣ 1,000 Teammates
‣ Automation 
‣ Dedicated IP included
SendGrid Pricing Plan


Choose Amazon SES if you’re cost-conscious and need to send a high volume of emails. 

SendGrid is better if you need marketing automation and dedicated IPs within a budget. 

Note that both platforms offer free tiers to help you experiment and see what works for your business. 

Amazon SES vs SendGrid: Making the Final Decision

Amazon SES is a better fit for bulk transactional emails and SendGrid is helpful for powerful marketing automation and dedicated support. 

If you still find it challenging to choose between the two, here’s a side-by-side comparison of their top features to help you make a fair choice.

Features Amazon SES SendGrid
Ease of use ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sender reputation management
Blacklist and whitelist
Event tracking API
Spam filter testing 
Bulk email verification 
Multiple domains
List management 
Data import and export tools
Engagement tracking 
Amazon SES vs SendGrid – Features Comparison

Both platforms emphasize email deliverability and sender reputation. Ultimately, consider your budget, technical expertise, email-sending goals (transactional vs. marketing), and the desired level of support to decide.

If you want the highest email deliverability rate with powerful marketing features, Campaign Refinery makes the cut.

Campaign Refinery — The Best of Both Worlds

Campaign Refinery provides premium email marketing tools with the highest email deliverability rate on the market. Our core focus is to get your emails delivered to the recipients’ inboxes and build sender reputation, creating a strong email marketing foundation. 

Campaign Refinery Homepage
Campaign Refinery Homepage

We’ll show you how we upgrade email marketing results with an extensive toolkit.

Why Choose Campaign Refinery Over Amazon SES or SendGrid

Campaign Refinery is a premium service provider — we have a strict vetting process and only pick the most responsible clients to work with. Doing this helps us maintain a pool of safe senders and maximize safety standards for clients and their email lists.

Here’s how Campaign Refinery features stack up against Amazon SES and Sendgrid:

  • Highest email deliverability: Campaign Refinery stamps every email you send with DKIM, protecting your domain from impersonators or malicious attacks. Clients achieve a 6x increase in inbox placement rate after working with us.
  • Engagement gamification: With the gamification framework, your subscribers can be incentivized to engage and interact with your email content for higher inbox placement rates.
  • Credit system: Campaign Refinery offers a pay-as-you-go model. You can purchase ‘x’ number of credits and use them to send emails, clean email lists, and perform email marketing checks.
  • List hygiene: The platform has an integrated email list cleaning tool that automatically removes harmful email addresses before you send out emails. It removes hard bounces on the first failure and soft bounces after 5 failures.
  • Advanced features: Users can enjoy powerful automation, segmentation, and list-hygiene features to help maintain sender reputation.
  • Advanced tagging system: It allows you to tag based on user engagement levels and metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and user behavior. 
  • Pre-built campaign templates: The platform offers pre-built campaign templates for common email sequences such as welcome series, abandoned cart emails, or re-engagement campaigns.

Is Campaign Refinery Affordable?

Campaign Refinery’s pricing is based on a credit system — you can purchase the number of credits you need and use them to send emails and clean your email lists. We don’t overcharge you for having a big email list.

We don’t offer free trials because we have a unilinear method of selecting clients — we have a discussion call with every client to check compatibility. We handpick serious and responsible email senders and closely monitor them for better security.

Let’s break down the pricing structure to help you better analyze the prospects.

Campaign Refinery Pricing TierPricing Features IncludedCredits Included
Business plan Starts at $99 / month ‣ Unlimited Contacts
‣ Built-in Contact Cleaning
‣ Engaged Delivery System
‣ Automation Rule Builder
‣ Free Campaign Library 
‣ Custom Audience Builder 
‣ Evergreen Flash Sale
50 K
Growth plan Starts at $299 / month ‣ Everything in business, 
‣ Turn off ”powered by” Text
‣ Reduced Overage Cost
‣ Increased API Volume Limits
200 K
Enterprise plan Starts at $1k+ / month ‣ Everything in Growth plan,
‣ Dedicated success manager
‣ Lowest Overage Cost
‣ Custom API volume
1 M
Campaign Refinery pricing

Is Moving to Campaign Refinery Complicated?

Moving to Campaign Refinery is straightforward — you can import existing email lists that have opted-in to receive your communication.

The automatic email list-cleaning system will validate and clean all imported contacts against the available credit balance. From there, our support team takes care of every detail to ensure your account is correctly set up and email deliverability is up to par. 

Once you onboard as a client, you’ll be able to:

  1. Promote interaction and engagement through the gamification feature, 
  2. Give your recipients an easy way to opt out with an actual one-click unsubscribe button in every email,
  3. Remove common complainers with a habit of complaining on other lists,
  4. Save audience segments based on tags and engagement levels for a personalized approach,
  5. Use simple parameters to re-engage subscribers and eventually convert them,
  6. Understand your campaign success with automatic open and click tracking.

Creating and maintaining a good sender reputation is more than setting up email authentication protocols to protect users from spam. You also need a reliable tool to help you pass through the spam filters and reach inboxes.

Campaign Refinery helps you focus on engaged users, incentivize them, and build your reputation from the ground up.

Get the highest email deliverability on the market and perfect your sender score apply and become a client today!

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