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Can you cold email business

Can you cold email businesses

Cold email businesses

Photo Credit: Outfunnel

Cold email can be an effective tactic to use in your lead generation campaigns. One lingering question here is can you cold email businesses?

The Verdict

You can cold email businesses. There is no law or regulation that prevents the sending of cold emails to businesses. The only governing authority is designed to regulate and protect data gathered and used by those sending cold emails to businesses and individuals.


This is not illegal or poor business practice as long as you follow GDPR and other spam laws.

The Reasoning

Cold email is simply another way to try to reach your prospects. It can often fall in the same bucket as cold calling or direct mail.


Cold emailing a business will follow the same regulation as cold emailing an individual. Within your email, you must state who you are, what your business is, what you are aiming to sell, and you have to have a purpose to sending that email.


Expanding on choosing the recipient and having a purpose to sending the cold email; you must be able to directly prove that that chosen person would directly benefit from the information, so you shouldn’t send your email to someone further down the ladder if the information will have to be continually passed along to get to the right person.

GDPR And Other Countries Regulations

If you are randomly sending cold emails to random recipients without a purpose this does violate laws under GDPR. As a quick note GDPR governs the European Union, so if you are sending cold emails to businesses within those countries you need to be sure you are compliant in both your sending country and the recipient’s country. Outside of the realm of GDPR is the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission has similar rules to follow when sending cold emails as well. The Federal Trade Commission is the regulatory body for the United States.


Canada is a bit more strict than the United States and European Union when it comes to sending cold emails to businesses. In Canada, your prospects HAVE to have opted into being a part of your contact list. If you use an email list that has been gathered from an outside source, it may be best to ensure that you do not have any Canadian contacts because you want to be sure you stay on the right side of the law.


If you do not get explicit permission from a prospect and got their contact information as a referral, you must have a mutual client relationship that brought the referral to you.


A few things that can cause you to violate those rules and regulations while sending cold emails to businesses would be sending emails at random without a reason for choosing that particular recipient, making it so the individual cannot unsubscribe from your email sequence, making false claims in the email or embedding viruses or other malicious content within links in the email itself.

What About Follow Up Emails

Sending follow up emails to your initial cold email to a business is just fine as well. The rules are the same for a follow up email as it is for a singular cold email. As long as you operate within the regulations set by GDPR standards you are just fine.

What If I Didn’t Build My Own Email List

If you did not build your own email list, you can still send cold emails to those businesses. Again, who you send your cold emails to all comes down to if it is fully GDPR compliant. Because GDPR aims to protect data, you still need to be concerned with how the emails were procured, so if you are going to outsource this task, be sure that you are hiring a reliable person or company to do so.

About the Author

Lydia is SendKoala’s Head of Content. Outside of SendKoala, you can finder her running, lifting, and hiking.