Every time I pay rent on time I get an email from my landlord/rental company about some “deal” from a local random company as a “reward” for paying on time. They are rarely good deals from my perspective.

I personally find it annoying because I believe this landlord/company is taking advantage of their tenant email list to make money on the side by sending advertisements.

They do not have an unsubscribe link since they are transactional emails saying "thanks for paying rent". However they’re also adding marketing into the same emails.

Hypothetically, if I felt like reporting them for violating CAN-SPAM by not letting me unsubscribe from their advertisement, would it hold any weight?

2 Answers 2



The CAN-SPAM Act defines "commercial messages" as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service”.

If the primary purpose of this message is to give you your receipt and the advertising is incidental then its not spam. If the message is just advertising, then it is.


The FTC's website answers exactly this:

A. It’s common for email sent by businesses to mix commercial content and transactional or relationship content. When an email contains both kinds of content, the primary purpose of the message is the deciding factor. Here’s how to make that determination: If a recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line would likely conclude that the message contains an advertisement or promotion for a commercial product or service or if the message’s transactional or relationship content does not appear mainly at the beginning of the message, the primary purpose of the message is commercial.

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