Too many abuse reports coming from Yahoo threatens my SES mail sending


About once a year I'm told by Amazon to keep my complaint rate below 0.5% or they will suspend my mail sending.

The biggest (and mostly the only) cause of complaints are abuse reports coming from Yahoo! (which also includes AOL). This is nothing new but I've found no useful advice to mitigate the problem. The abuse report always contains the text "authentication result string is not available". Example follows:

This is an email abuse report for an email message from on ****
Feedback-Type: abuse
User-Agent: Yahoo!-Mail-Feedback/2.0
Version: 0.1
Original-Mail-From: <****>
Original-Rcpt-To: ****
Received-Date: ****
Authentication-Results: authentication result string is not available

**Does anyone know if the mysterious "feedback" means anything useful? Is it somehow related to DNS TXT records, or anything I can fix at my end? **

As I tell Amazon every year, I ONLY send transactional emails to individuals who sign up for my site. I suspect what happens is that people enter their email address wrongly; mail goes to someone else; they mark it as spam; I get penalised. I see a lot of typos in user-supplied email addresses, so with the large number of Yahoo and AOL usernames it seems it would be quite easy for this to happen. Notably however, I don't see the same problem with Gmail.

Incredible that this pushes my complaint rate over 0.5%, but this seems to be the reality. If I am to continue using SES, my only current course of action is to block all sending to Yahoo! and AOL mailboxes. My business will likely suffer as a result, and I would rather leave SES that let that happen.

**Has anyone solved this some other way? ** I am tempted to ask AOL/Yahoo users to confirm/re-enter their email address to try to avoid typos.

Tim W
asked a year ago529 views
3 Answers

Unless you are using a custom MAIL FROM with your verified sending domain, Amazon will generate an envelope sender on the domain in the format, where GUID is a unique identifier. If you want to tie the complaint to the original message, you will need a mechanism to archive sent messages and correlate the generated MAIL FROM address by capturing both the generated MAIL FROM and the original Message-ID by catching a delivery feedback notification though an SES topic configured to dispatch an HTTPS event for that purpose.

answered a year ago

Have you taken a look at the suppression list, this way if you send to bad address it will not send again which increases your bounce rate and impacts your rating.

profile picture
answered a year ago

Thanks @mdibella. I am able to match sent messages via the ID. I can see all data related to the sending of individual mails sent for site registrations. However, your point about the Return-Path being could be relevant to spam categorisation, although my SPF records DO list this domain as a legitimate sender.

Thanks @Rob_H. I already block email addresses that reply with a complaint. All complaints are from the first and only message to that address.

There is no mystery surrounding what these messages are, or how many are sent etc.. The only mystery is why Yahoo are so aggressive in their abuse reporting when people have elected to receive the mail by registering for a service. I find it hard to believe that so many reach the wrong person, or that so many people sign up for a service and then mark their activation email as spam.

Tim W
answered a year ago

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