Compare Waypoint vs Amazon SES

Amazon SES alternative

Drowning in dev bottlenecks with Amazon SES? Use Waypoint for collaborative approach to an email API.

Published: Mar 28, 2024

High level comparison

In this article, we’re comparing Waypoint vs Amazon SES (Simple Email Service).

It's important to note that both Waypoint and Amazon SES are fantastic products that help teams send reliable emails from their application at scale.

Each service simply has different approaches and, therefore, prioritize things differently. Amazon SES is geared for flexible low level functionality targeting developers while Waypoint is designed for collaboration and ease of use targeting product teams.

Amazon SES is built on top of a rock solid AWS infrastructure and companies such as Netflix, Reddit, Grab, and obviously, Amazon, are all customers of Amazon SES. In fact, Waypoint is even a customer and uses Amazon SES and AWS infrastructure behind the scenes. All of our emails are delivered through the exact same world class email infrastructure.

While teams can certainly use Amazon SES directly, it’s worth considering the challenges of Amazon SES and why teams choose a less cumbersome approach with Waypoint’s easy-to-use API and collaborative tools.

Why software teams choose Waypoint over Amazon SES

1. A powerful dynamic template builder

Since Amazon SES targets developers, all email templates must be configured and created from code. In fact, even viewing email templates within the Amazon SES dashboard is not possible. This makes it impossible for team members outside of developers to contribute content or make adjustments to templates without having to grab a developer – resulting in endless bottlenecks within product teams.

Waypoint on the other hand, has a powerful dynamic email template builder designed specifically to create data-rich templates visually. This helps teams divide and conquer since designers and others on the product team can create/modify templates while developers can focus on sending the data.

Waypoint template builder vs SES

Waypoint template builder vs template building on Amazon SES (code)

Waypoint templates vs SES

Viewing templates on Waypoint vs templates on Amazon SES (read-only list without a preview).

2. Frustration-free observability

While Amazon SES has a built-in tool (Virtual Deliverability Manager) for email logs, the story is the same – bare bones functionality. The available data on SES logs is limited and can be challenging to use for debugging or monitoring purposes.

Waypoint, on the other hand, provides frustration-free observability out of the box with a full email preview, the raw HTML, and even the template data that was passed in from the API for debugging purposes.

Waypoint email logs vs SES

Full email log observability on Waypoint vs basic email logs on Amazon SES.

Additionally on Waypoint, teams can drill down into associated metadata like contacts to view all emails sent to an individual contact.

Waypoint contacts

Viewing emails by contacts on Waypoint. Not available on Amazon SES.

3. Power in simplicity

Amazon SES is incredibly flexible, however, it often comes with a cost of a steep learning curve where even developers can find AWS to be cumbersome and challenging to integrate.

Waypoint provides both a simple API and dashboard with builders and configuration settings to help teams get setup and ship fast.

As an example, setting an unsubscribe link with a managed unsubscribe page is as simple as setting an option on the API call and then configuring the options within the dashboard. Learn more about unsubscribe groups on Waypoint.

Waypoint unsubscribe

Unsubscribe management can be setup on Waypoint with a single line of code.

4. Reasonable pricing

Amazon SES pricing is hard to beat and is the cheapest way to send emails at scale. However, with Waypoint’s simple pricing, teams often find the engineering time savings alone is worth the price difference. And since Waypoint is built on top of Amazon SES, you’ll still be getting world-class deliverability.

5. Unmatched, real human support

Waypoint is dedicated to incredible customer support and most often, you’ll be talking directly to one of our founders. Great support for each of our customers comes standard. Support on Amazon SES is reserved for their large scale or enterprise customers.

Why software teams might consider Amazon SES over Waypoint

Cost and flexibility. For better or worse, just about everything can be customized through code on Amazon SES. Additionally, certain functionality is available that Waypoint doesn't have (which may or may not be a a dealbreaker for your team):

  • Inbound email parsing
  • Advanced contact segmentation
  • Advanced permissions
  • Attachments
  • SMTP relays
  • Single Sign On (SSO)

However, we’ll add that many of these advanced features are on Waypoint’s roadmap and we’re building fast.


We encourage you to give both email API products a try for yourself to see which one may be the best fit for your team (both have a free sandboxed trial). While both products have many overlapping features, each service has it's own personality and priorities.

We’re biased but if your team is looking to reduce expensive dev bottlenecks around building and sending emails, it’s worth giving Waypoint a try.