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Email Marketing - not as easy as I thought

Just doing a little research to contact local businesses to offer my services and I thought I would check the laws regarding unsolicited email, I seem to get a lot so I assumed it was OK.

Apparently not, "it is unlawful to send someone direct marketing who has not specifically granted permission (via an opt-in agreement) unless there is a previous relationship between the parties". This is according to the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. I can contact a PLC or limited companies but lets face it most of these tend to look for a web designer so I would potentially be found by them anyway.
Small businesses, sole traders and partnerships are classed as individuals and are not legally contactable.

So basically spammers who willingly break the law can send out their email and potentially pick up business but I who respect the law cannot and therefore have to find another way.

So spam isn't reduced by these regulations and my potentially beneficial service for start up businesses and smaller businesses, who potentially need my help, has to be promoted some other way. This means I have to cold call customers or rely on social media.

Time to pick up the phone I think.

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