What matters is the “primary purpose” of the message. To determine the primary purpose, remember that an email can contain three different types of information:

  • Commercial content – which advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including • content on a website operated for a commercial purpose;
  • Transactional or relationship content – which facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction or • updates a customer about an ongoing transaction; and
  • Other content – which is neither commercial nor transactional or relationship. 

If the message contains only commercial content, its primary purpose is commercial and it must comply with the requirements of CAM-SPAM. If it contains only transactional or relationship content, its primary purpose is transactional or relationship. In that case, it may not contain false or misleading routing information, but is otherwise exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.



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