Despite an unprecedented increase in spam during 2003, email marketing has remained an effective way to reach existing customers and contacts. According to the 2003 DoubleClick Email Trend Report, legitimate marketers continue to get strong performance from email. Indeed, performance has for the most part increased over last year.According to the Report, on average 88% of emails are delivered to the intended recipients. About 37.2% of those who receive the message actually open it. And of those who open the email, 9.2% on average click through the links to the underlying marketing messages or offers. These figures can vary significantly depending on the type of product/service being promoted: Business Products and Services emails have the highest open rates, with 46.3% of the recipients opening the messages. But the click rates are lower than average, at 7.8%.Consumer Products and Services, on the other hand, have fewer people opening the messages, at 39.6%. However, they have the highest click-through rate, at 11.2%.Download the 2003 Email Trend Report (PDF) here.Email marketing remains a valuable tool for legitimate marketers, despite spam. And, because it is inexpensive, email marketing can be used by businesses of any size, large or small. Rumors of its death were greatly exaggerated.