Easily Create Email Addresses for your Route53 Custom Domain

Registering and validating personalized email addresses in Route53 and Simple Email Service (SES) doesn’t have to be difficult. But there is almost no documentation to show you how to do it easily. Here’s a simple solution.

Buying a custom domain through the Route53 console on AWS is really easy. They cost from $9 and up. With the help of good documentation, you can set it up in a matter of minutes.

Once you have your domain, you can also quickly start using a static website. As static websites become more and more popular, there are plenty of frameworks and guides out there to help you out. For example, this AWS guide will get you there in 30 minutes!

As soon as you want to add email addresses to your custom domain, you’ll hit a brick wall. Documentation dries up. The documents that are available make all sorts of assumptions. For example, you already have a mail server configured. But what if you don’t?

There are many reasons why you might want to have email addresses on your custom domain. Maybe it’s a personal website and you want to include your name? In my case, I’m building a web application and I want AWS Cognito to send its emails from my domain.

I want to achieve this:

  1. Create a custom domain example . com.
  2. Create a web application that authenticates using AWS Cognito.
  3. Create an email no-reply@example.com on my custom domain.
  4. Having AWS Cognito send log emails from no-reply@example.com.
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The scope of this post is step 3.

Let’s assume you already have your custom domain registered with Route53.

Route53 Control Panel

We’ll be using Simple Email Service (SES) to register the new email: no-reply@example.com.

We need to accomplish two things:

  1. Verify the example.com domain within SES.
  2. Check the email address no-reply@example.com within SES.

This sounds pretty simple, and it is. However, we have some hurdles to overcome to achieve this, particularly for point 2.

In the AWS console, navigate to SESThen click “Next Step”.

Add Action

This is the crucial part. Now we can tell AWS what to do with any email our new email addresses receive. This includes verification emails.

In this example, we will use the Simple Notification Service (SNS). When SES receives an email to no-reply@example.com, it will send that email to an SNS topic we created here.

Choose SNS from the “Add Action” dropdown menu. Select the option to create a new SNS theme and give it a sensible name. Select the “UTF-8” encoding.

Next, give your new rule a name. Click “Next Step”.

You will have an opportunity to review your new set of rules before clicking “Create Rule”.

Subscribe to SNS topic

So far we’ve created a system that will forward any email received by no-reply@example.com to a new SNS topic. We then need to subscribe to that topic to gain access to those emails.

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To do this, we’ll subscribe with our personal email address, e.g. example@gmail.com.

In the AWS console, go to SNS

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