Email marketing continues to prove an extremely worthwhile means of reaching out to potential customers, a new report has revealed.

The 2012 UK Email Marketing Benchmark Report, produced by digital marketing services company,, found that, across all sectors, the past year had seen the average open rate for emails rise from 18.21% to 18.35%.

When looked at sector by sector, the report found that the most productive use of email marketing was achieved by business to business sales, with an average open rate among unique responders of 26.14%.

The restaurant sector also did particularly well, according to the report, achieving a 23.67% average unique open rate; whilst the rate for the music industry sector stood at a very healthy 21.46%.

Meanwhile, emails generated by charities and government departments were also identified in the report as having secured impressive average open rates: namely, 23.5% and 31.17% respectively.

The report, which is generated annually, and is understood to provide the only research of its kind into the effectiveness of emails sent out by small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, was based on an analysis of more than 900 emails, the recipients of which had all previously given their explicit consent to receive such marketing communications.

The positive findings of the 2012 report are said to have been greeted with particular satisfaction among the report’s subscribers, given the tough general economic conditions that were prevailing during the period covered by the findings.