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Anybody cold emailing in Germany / EU?

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ygtrhos

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Hello everyone!

I have recently found out from credible sources that you cannot do cold emailing in Germany whatsoever, without having double opt-in. (even B2B)

Has any one of you ever written cold emails to German customers? (adressed to person or generic)

I would love to hear about your experiences.
 
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Knugs

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Yes, we do B2B coldcalling and coldemailing. No Spam/No newsletters. Had no issues.
 

Dwight Schrute

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Cold emailing is only considered forbidden around here because in the early days of the internet, certain troglodytes were fetching thousands of email addresses from industry registers and went on a carpet bombing spree with their pitches.

Example: Let's say there's a plumber. Every day he checks his emails for important messages. What should take him 5mins takes him 4 hours because there's 1834 emails from travel agencies, roofers, painters, "coaches", dog walkers, web shops for dick pills, and so on, pitching him EVERY DAY about things he never showed an interest in.
That's illegal.

Here's a legal approach: Send an email and say, for example:
"Hi, my name is so-and-so.
I've just stumbled upon your website and have identified a few things that could make it load faster and convert more leads.
If that's something you're interested in you can reach me at 06904032472 or this
email address."

If you don't get a call, you can follow up with a call yourself.
But not with a pitch, just checking in and making sure they got your email.


If you have something that's relevant to their business, you can absolutely contact
them via email or phone and ask if that's something they wanna talk about.
If they said yes, and you had a little chat with them, and they're showing interest, you can make them an offer.

What you mustn't do is contact them regularly with cold pitches.

Regular straight pitching is a no-no.
Connecting and just having a talk between two humans? Yes. YES!!
 

marketingflame

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Jun 11, 2021
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Servus!

Cold emailing is only considered forbidden around here because in the early days of the internet, certain troglodytes were fetching thousands of email addresses from industry registers and went on a carpet bombing spree with their pitches.

Example: Let's say there's a plumber. Every day he checks his emails for important messages. What should take him 5mins takes him 4 hours because there's 1834 emails from travel agencies, roofers, painters, "coaches", dog walkers, web shops for dick pills, and so on, pitching him EVERY DAY about things he never showed an interest in.
That's illegal.

Here's a legal approach: Send an email and say, for example:
"Hi, my name is so-and-so.
I've just stumbled upon your website and have identified a few things that could make it load faster and convert more leads.
If that's something you're interested in you can reach me at 06904032472 or this
email address."

If you don't get a call, you can follow up with a call yourself.
But not with a pitch, just checking in and making sure they got your email.


If you have something that's relevant to their business, you can absolutely contact
them via email or phone and ask if that's something they wanna talk about.
If they said yes, and you had a little chat with them, and they're showing interest, you can make them an offer.

What you mustn't do is contact them regularly with cold pitches.

Regular straight pitching is a no-no.
Connecting and just having a talk between two humans? Yes. YES!!
Hey!

You are spreading misinformation here!
Such an email would indeed be ILLEGAL in Germany!
The content of the email does not matter.
There is an intent to acquire a customer.

You should read more about UWG paragraph 7.
 

Itizn

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Interesting how Germany has regulations in place to prevent cold outreach. Basically you'd have to rely on advertising then if I'm not midtaken.
 

MJ DeMarco

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If you have something that's relevant to their business, you can absolutely contact
them via email or phone and ask if that's something they wanna talk about.

Are you sure about this? Received multiple reports that the law specifically says you cannot do ANY KIND of cold outreach, even if relevant to their business.

Care to copy / paste the law so we can make that determination, specifically UWG paragraph 7?
 

Dwight Schrute

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Are you sure about this? Received multiple reports that the law specifically says you cannot do ANY KIND of cold outreach, even if relevant to their business.
Yes. I've never had a problem, and I don't know anyone who got into trouble as long as they took care not to be a nuisance. Without cold calling, B2B sales would plummet. Whole industries would be fvcked.

Care to copy / paste the law so we can make that determination, specifically UWG paragraph 7?
Sure, I'll prepare something.
 

Dwight Schrute

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Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG)​

§ 7 Unzumutbare Belästigungen​


(1) Eine geschäftliche Handlung, durch die ein Marktteilnehmer in unzumutbarer Weise belästigt wird, ist unzulässig. Dies gilt insbesondere für Werbung, obwohl erkennbar ist, dass der angesprochene Marktteilnehmer diese Werbung nicht wünscht.
(2) Eine unzumutbare Belästigung ist stets anzunehmen 1.
bei Werbung unter Verwendung eines in den Nummern 2 und 3 nicht aufgeführten, für den Fernabsatz geeigneten Mittels der kommerziellen Kommunikation, durch die ein Verbraucher hartnäckig angesprochen wird, obwohl er dies erkennbar nicht wünscht;
2.
bei Werbung mit einem Telefonanruf gegenüber einem Verbraucher ohne dessen vorherige ausdrückliche Einwilligung oder gegenüber einem sonstigen Marktteilnehmer ohne dessen zumindest mutmaßliche Einwilligung,
3.
bei Werbung unter Verwendung einer automatischen Anrufmaschine, eines Faxgerätes oder elektronischer Post, ohne dass eine vorherige ausdrückliche Einwilligung des Adressaten vorliegt, oder
4.
bei Werbung mit einer Nachricht, a)
bei der die Identität des Absenders, in dessen Auftrag die Nachricht übermittelt wird, verschleiert oder verheimlicht wird oder
b)
bei der gegen § 6 Absatz 1 des Telemediengesetzes verstoßen wird oder in der der Empfänger aufgefordert wird, eine Website aufzurufen, die gegen diese Vorschrift verstößt, oder
c)
bei der keine gültige Adresse vorhanden ist, an die der Empfänger eine Aufforderung zur Einstellung solcher Nachrichten richten kann, ohne dass hierfür andere als die Übermittlungskosten nach den Basistarifen entstehen.
(3) Abweichend von Absatz 2 Nummer 3 ist eine unzumutbare Belästigung bei einer Werbung unter Verwendung elektronischer Post nicht anzunehmen, wenn 1.
ein Unternehmer im Zusammenhang mit dem Verkauf einer Ware oder Dienstleistung von dem Kunden dessen elektronische Postadresse erhalten hat,
2.
der Unternehmer die Adresse zur Direktwerbung für eigene ähnliche Waren oder Dienstleistungen verwendet,
3.
der Kunde der Verwendung nicht widersprochen hat und
4.
der Kunde bei Erhebung der Adresse und bei jeder Verwendung klar und deutlich darauf hingewiesen wird, dass er der Verwendung jederzeit widersprechen kann, ohne dass hierfür andere als die Übermittlungskosten nach den Basistarifen entstehen.

Let's take a look at it

Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG)​

§ 7 Unzumutbare Belästigungen​

Unzumutbar: unreasonable, unsuitable, unacceptable
Belästigung: harassment, nuisance, annoyance, pestering

(1) Eine geschäftliche Handlung, durch die ein Marktteilnehmer in unzumutbarer Weise belästigt wird, ist unzulässig. Dies gilt insbesondere für Werbung, obwohl erkennbar ist, dass der angesprochene Marktteilnehmer diese Werbung nicht wünscht.
Commercial actions that are an unacceptable annoyance to any other market player are illegal. This counts especially for advertising when it's obvious that said market player doesn't want to receive it.

(2) Eine unzumutbare Belästigung ist stets anzunehmen 1.
bei Werbung unter Verwendung eines in den Nummern 2 und 3 nicht aufgeführten, für den Fernabsatz geeigneten Mittels der kommerziellen Kommunikation, durch die ein Verbraucher hartnäckig angesprochen wird, obwohl er dies erkennbar nicht wünscht;
It's pestering if you stubbornly contact a customer/prospect through channels that aren't specified in 2. & 3., even when he made it obvious that he does want you to stop.

2.
bei Werbung mit einem Telefonanruf gegenüber einem Verbraucher ohne dessen vorherige ausdrückliche Einwilligung oder gegenüber einem sonstigen Marktteilnehmer ohne dessen zumindest mutmaßliche Einwilligung,
It's pestering to advertise with a phone call to a customer without prior consent, or call another market player without his at least presumed/suspected/probable consent.

So here's my "trick":

a) Be relevant to the business you're calling.
If what you do really helps a company to increase their sales/lower their cost/increase their efficiency, they will probably want to know about it. So you can at least assume consent.

b) Don't advertise, don't be salesy.
Be friendly, help, inform, be an advisor. It's more like networking, or instead of posting a How-To-post online, you call and tell them your information directly on the phone. If they come to the conclusion that this is really something they should consider, and if they ask you if you can do it for them if you're a service provider, you're allowed to say yes.

3.
bei Werbung unter Verwendung einer automatischen Anrufmaschine, eines Faxgerätes oder elektronischer Post, ohne dass eine vorherige ausdrückliche Einwilligung des Adressaten vorliegt, oder
Advertising through automated phone blasts, fax, or email, without prior consent of the receiver, is illegal.
Hint: Sending an email that tells them that I will call them is not advertising.

4.
bei Werbung mit einer Nachricht, a)
bei der die Identität des Absenders, in dessen Auftrag die Nachricht übermittelt wird, verschleiert oder verheimlicht wird oder
b)
bei der gegen § 6 Absatz 1 des Telemediengesetzes verstoßen wird oder in der der Empfänger aufgefordert wird, eine Website aufzurufen, die gegen diese Vorschrift verstößt, oder
c)
bei der keine gültige Adresse vorhanden ist, an die der Empfänger eine Aufforderung zur Einstellung solcher Nachrichten richten kann, ohne dass hierfür andere als die Übermittlungskosten nach den Basistarifen entstehen.
a) You shall not conceal your identity
b) §6 Absatz 1 says: actual commercial communication should be able to be identified as such
c) Your marketing communications should include your address and a way for the receiver to tell you to stop, and this should NOT come at an extra cost like some BS-0190 number

(3) Abweichend von Absatz 2 Nummer 3 ist eine unzumutbare Belästigung bei einer Werbung unter Verwendung elektronischer Post nicht anzunehmen, wenn 1.
ein Unternehmer im Zusammenhang mit dem Verkauf einer Ware oder Dienstleistung von dem Kunden dessen elektronische Postadresse erhalten hat,
2.
der Unternehmer die Adresse zur Direktwerbung für eigene ähnliche Waren oder Dienstleistungen verwendet,
3.
der Kunde der Verwendung nicht widersprochen hat und
4.
der Kunde bei Erhebung der Adresse und bei jeder Verwendung klar und deutlich darauf hingewiesen wird, dass er der Verwendung jederzeit widersprechen kann, ohne dass hierfür andere als die Übermittlungskosten nach den Basistarifen entstehen.
Advertising with email is not considered as pestering, if
1 a business obtained the email through a sale
2 a business uses the email address to advertise it's own similar products & services
3 the customer didn't object to being contacted via email
4 the customer is told at the opt-in and in every email that he can opt-out anytime
 
Last edited:

theag

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If you take the laws on a literal base, everything is forbidden here. It is Germany after all. But nobody gives a shit in real life.

Most of the guys who do cold outreach are f*cking idiots though. Bad copy, bad targeting. The low IQ of the senders just generally shows.

If you decide to do it, don't suck. You might think that some legal action is the worst that could happen. But email the wrong a**hole and you will end up being publicly shamed on social media and have the top Google results for your own name ruined forever.

:innocent: :halo:
 

marketingflame

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Jun 11, 2021
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Yes. I've never had a problem, and I don't know anyone who got into trouble as long as they took care not to be a nuisance. Without cold calling, B2B sales would plummet. Whole industries would be fvcked.


Sure, I'll prepare something.
Hey!

Look what I have just found:


Somebody actually paid a lawyer to get a binding response!

And as I predicted, it is illegal!

You should really watch out with what information you spread here.
I think it would be best to delete your previous posts.
 

marketingflame

New Contributor
Jun 11, 2021
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4
11

Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG)​

§ 7 Unzumutbare Belästigungen​


(1) Eine geschäftliche Handlung, durch die ein Marktteilnehmer in unzumutbarer Weise belästigt wird, ist unzulässig. Dies gilt insbesondere für Werbung, obwohl erkennbar ist, dass der angesprochene Marktteilnehmer diese Werbung nicht wünscht.
(2) Eine unzumutbare Belästigung ist stets anzunehmen 1.
bei Werbung unter Verwendung eines in den Nummern 2 und 3 nicht aufgeführten, für den Fernabsatz geeigneten Mittels der kommerziellen Kommunikation, durch die ein Verbraucher hartnäckig angesprochen wird, obwohl er dies erkennbar nicht wünscht;
2.
bei Werbung mit einem Telefonanruf gegenüber einem Verbraucher ohne dessen vorherige ausdrückliche Einwilligung oder gegenüber einem sonstigen Marktteilnehmer ohne dessen zumindest mutmaßliche Einwilligung,
3.
bei Werbung unter Verwendung einer automatischen Anrufmaschine, eines Faxgerätes oder elektronischer Post, ohne dass eine vorherige ausdrückliche Einwilligung des Adressaten vorliegt, oder
4.
bei Werbung mit einer Nachricht, a)
bei der die Identität des Absenders, in dessen Auftrag die Nachricht übermittelt wird, verschleiert oder verheimlicht wird oder
b)
bei der gegen § 6 Absatz 1 des Telemediengesetzes verstoßen wird oder in der der Empfänger aufgefordert wird, eine Website aufzurufen, die gegen diese Vorschrift verstößt, oder
c)
bei der keine gültige Adresse vorhanden ist, an die der Empfänger eine Aufforderung zur Einstellung solcher Nachrichten richten kann, ohne dass hierfür andere als die Übermittlungskosten nach den Basistarifen entstehen.
(3) Abweichend von Absatz 2 Nummer 3 ist eine unzumutbare Belästigung bei einer Werbung unter Verwendung elektronischer Post nicht anzunehmen, wenn 1.
ein Unternehmer im Zusammenhang mit dem Verkauf einer Ware oder Dienstleistung von dem Kunden dessen elektronische Postadresse erhalten hat,
2.
der Unternehmer die Adresse zur Direktwerbung für eigene ähnliche Waren oder Dienstleistungen verwendet,
3.
der Kunde der Verwendung nicht widersprochen hat und
4.
der Kunde bei Erhebung der Adresse und bei jeder Verwendung klar und deutlich darauf hingewiesen wird, dass er der Verwendung jederzeit widersprechen kann, ohne dass hierfür andere als die Übermittlungskosten nach den Basistarifen entstehen.

Let's take a look at it

Unzumutbar: unreasonable, unsuitable, unacceptable
Belästigung: harassment, nuisance, annoyance, pestering


Commercial actions that are an unacceptable annoyance to any other market player are illegal. This counts especially for advertising when it's obvious that said market player doesn't want to receive it.


It's pestering if you stubbornly contact a customer/prospect through channels that aren't specified in 2. & 3., even when he made it obvious that he does want you to stop.


It's pestering to advertise with a phone call to a customer without prior consent, or call another market player without his at least presumed/suspected/probable consent.

So here's my "trick":

a) Be relevant to the business you're calling.
If what you do really helps a company to increase their sales/lower their cost/increase their efficiency, they will probably want to know about it. So you can at least assume consent.

b) Don't advertise, don't be salesy.
Be friendly, help, inform, be an advisor. It's more like networking, or instead of posting a How-To-post online, you call and tell them your information directly on the phone. If they come to the conclusion that this is really something they should consider, and if they ask you if you can do it for them if you're a service provider, you're allowed to say yes.


Advertising through automated phone blasts, fax, or email, without prior consent of the receiver, is illegal.
Hint: Sending an email that tells them that I will call them is not advertising.


a) You shall not conceal your identity
b) §6 Absatz 1 says: actual commercial communication should be able to be identified as such
c) Your marketing communications should include your address and a way for the receiver to tell you to stop, and this should NOT come at an extra cost like some BS-0190 number


Advertising with email is not considered as pestering, if
1 a business obtained the email through a sale
2 a business uses the email address to advertise it's own similar products & services
3 the customer didn't object to being contacted via email
4 the customer is told at the opt-in and in every email that he can opt-out anytime

You can't stop delivering more and more misinformation in this forum.

Stop making people engage in illegal acts that may cost them hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars (depending on the amount of cold emails sent).

For the people here who want to see the response of an actual lawyer (someone who read this thread asked this question, as he mentioned the exact text that the misinformation spreader posted here:
 
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Dwight Schrute

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Hey!

Look what I have just found:

Somebody actually paid a lawyer to get a binding response!

And as I predicted, it is illegal!
I'm aware that a lawyer would deem such an email as illegal. On the site you posted a lawyer also told someone that B2B cold calls are illegal, yet if you get a job in sales you will be required to cold call by your employer. There are even seminars and coaching programs out there to help you get better at cold acquisition. And blogs written by people who have done it for over a decade without any problems. The whole thing is a stupid grey area, and most businesses know so and don't even think about suing someone.

If you go strictly by the law, you can't even send an email to a business because, for example, you've seen a shady person climb their fence at night and you're letting them know that they may have been burglarized. If you left your business signature in such a message, a lawyer could say it's advertising and therefore illegal.
But in reality this scenario would never lead to any trouble with the law.

You should really watch out with what information you spread here.
I think it would be best to delete your previous posts.
This forum doesn't work that way. You can't delete/edit your posts after a certain time has passed, and you would know so if you'd have spent some time here and engaged in a civilized conversation instead of shouting at people whose opinion you don't like.

You can't stop delivering more and more misinformation in this forum.

Stop making people engage in illegal acts that may cost them hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars (depending on the amount of cold emails sent).
Where's the misinformation?

I've posted
a) §7 in its entirety. True information.
b) what cold approach I've personally used without any legal problems. Also true.
You may not like it, but that doesn't change the fact.

And please don't tell me I'm "making people engage in illegal acts".
That makes you look stupid.
I'm not a hypnotist and (most) people are smart enough to use their own judgement.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and any information posted here does not represent legal advice. I will not take responsibility for what you do with the information posted here.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PS: Show me the million dollar lawsuits.
 

TheFrancophile

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Feb 5, 2017
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If you take the laws on a literal base, everything is forbidden here. It is Germany after all. But nobody gives a shit in real life.

Most of the guys who do cold outreach are f*cking idiots though. Bad copy, bad targeting. The low IQ of the senders just generally shows.

If you decide to do it, don't suck. You might think that some legal action is the worst that could happen. But email the wrong a**hole and you will end up being publicly shamed on social media and have the top Google results for your own name ruined forever.

:innocent: :halo:

This is a very important thread to me, as I'm planning on prospecting German wine importers (by phone and email) during and after the summer.

When it comes to France, where I live, to my knowledge, cold prospecting by email and phone is legal, except that:

1) Email prospecting (almost) never works.
2) And if you don't prospect correctly by phone, you'll either get rejected outright, blocked by gatekeepers, or simply be told "send me an email and if I'm interested, I'll call you back. It'me who will call you if needed."

If I only had a nickel for every time I heard that, I'd be richer than MJ DeMarco by now :) ;)

So the whole debate between Dwight and MarketingFlame is a purely academic one. They're bickering about a pointless issue. Because email prospecting NEVER works.

Prospecting by phone is not just the BEST way, it's the ONLY way!
 
Last edited:

Mr. Tusk

Contributor
Dec 15, 2019
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Europe
Hi,

this is news to me. We are prospecting in Germany (B2B) sales with a native German salesperson. He is approaching relevant companies with (cold) emails and then phoning (cold call) afterwards and then continuing the dialogue from there. Just normal sales work => creating the funnel and then screening the oppos down the pipeline.

How an earth could you then sell in Germany if you can't contact the possible future customers? I have personally learned that it greatly helps if you speak the language in native level (which I don't).

My two (euro) cents from the frontlines.
 

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