Cold emails, legal or illegal?


Here's some food for thought:

Are cold emails now illegal in the UK?

As far as I can tell from a quick google, our law says that there must be an easy opt-out option and that unsolicited marketing emails can only be sent when a previous relationship already exists between sender and recipient.

This would suggest that cold emails to a prospective client from a graphic designer would be technically illegal?

Am I wrong, it'd be good if anyone a bit more legally savvy could pitch in.

Just curious.


Active Member
No it’s not. It’s only illegal if there is a named recipient. You can legally market to a generic company email address. It’s all detailed in the GDPR legislation.

Nick Eldridge

New Member
Cold emails to corporations are legal as long as an easy opt out is offered. European Union. The EU rules against spam were originally laid in the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive 2002. It’s general aim is to prohibit unsolicited communications and uses the opt-in (free, informed and specific consent) as basis for legality.


Staff member
Any time we are setting up email campaigns for the first time we are asked to perform a 2 step verification that they want to be emailed.

This is done by firstly sending an email to everyone on your list and requesting that they permit that you can send them emails. It is recommended that this list consists of a cleaned list of people who you have been in contact with up until the last 2 years.
They can then accept or request your proposal of subscribing to your emails.
This then adds/removes people from the list, and only those that are accepted go into your emailing active list.

These are the only ones you are allowed to contact.

In the event that you are doing business with them and they are a customer, you are not obliged to get a confirmation email, or even an unsubscribe button, should the email pertain to their customer status or your position as a supplier which you are legally bound to relay to your consumers.

What will happen if you are sending out cold emails in bulk is that your email account/IP address will be Blacklisted by your IP provider and you will need to contact them to have your email address/IP removed from the blacklist.

There are many reasons why your bulk email to many recipients will bounce back: out of office; no longer work there (, company no longer in existence, Subject line of your email triggered a spam filter and many more reasons.

Should you have too many "hard bounces" you will trigger an automatic blacklist.

I'm sure there's more to it that I'm not remembering but that's some things I've picked up on recently.