AWS SES receive emails and process body

This example shows how to process receiving emails, and have S3 trigger a lambda function.

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Receive an email, store in S3 bucket, trigger a lambda function

This example shows how to receive an email with SES, store the email including the body on S3 and have S3 trigger a lambda function.


  • Postprocess of email body.


  • Create a SES verified Domain but do not setup the "Rule Set"
  • Edit serverless.yml and choose a unique S3 bucket name but follow the normalizing Rules to allow to use the name for the bucketRef. To keep it working use a name which contains only the characters a-z. The bucketRef is the constant string S3Bucket plus the bucket name with the first letter uppercase.
  • if you change the region check if SES receiving exists in your region


In order to deploy the example, simply run:

serverless deploy

The output should look similar to:

Serverless: Packaging service...
Serverless: Excluding development dependencies...
Serverless: Uploading CloudFormation file to S3...
Serverless: Uploading artifacts...
Serverless: Uploading service .zip file to S3 (2.69 KB)...
Serverless: Validating template...
Serverless: Updating Stack...
Serverless: Checking Stack update progress...
Serverless: Stack update finished...
Service Information
service: aws-node-ses-receive-email-body
stage: dev
region: eu-west-1
stack: aws-node-ses-receive-email-body-dev
api keys:
  postprocess: aws-node-ses-receive-email-body-dev-postprocess

Setup SNS Email Receiving Rule

  1. Open the Amazon SES console at
  2. In the navigation pane, under Email Receiving, choose Rule Sets.
  3. Choose Create a Receipt Rule.
  4. On the Recipients page, choose Next Step. (Without a adding any recipients, Amazon SES applies this rule to all recipients)
  5. For Add action, choose S3.
  6. For S3 bucket,choose Enter a bucket name and select the bucket with the name you defined in serverless.yml
  7. Choose Next Step
  8. On the Rule Details page, for Rule name, type my-rule. Select the check box next to Enabled, and then choose Next Step.
  9. On the Review page, choose Create Rule.


Send a test email to the receipient.

You should see a new S3 object in the bucket which contains the whole email body.

After a while, the postprocess function gets triggerd by an S3 event:

serverless logs --function postprocess
START RequestId: 695a6fa8-a711e8-ab5d-0fdb1ebfe5ea Version: $LATEST
<date> <RequestId> date: 2003T18:46:47.000Z
<date> <RequestId> subject: Test Subject
<date> <RequestId> body: Hello World

<date> <RequestId> from: Tim Turbo <tim.turbo@domain.test>
<date> <RequestId> attachments: []
END RequestId: 695a6fa8-a711e8-ab5d-0fdb1ebfe5ea
REPORT RequestId: 695a6fa8-a711e8-ab5d-0fdb1ebfe5ea  Duration: 55.12 ms Billed Duration: 100 ms  Memory Size: 1024 MB    Max Memory Used: 42 MB