I was perusing the CM pre-made templates to see if I could save myself some time for a client. One thing we always take into considering when doing custom design for clients is that Outlook and Gmail don't allow background images. Since they are often a good amount of the recipients for our clients, we design accordingly.
However, looking through all the CM templates they almost all make use of background images. How do you guys justify this knowing that a good chunk of people (according to your email client popularity around 17%) won't see those and makes the email template look bad for those people?
Are we being overly cautious in designing emails that never need background images?
Hi sccr410, while the templates are by no means perfect, we've tested them to ensure they degrade gracefully in email clients that don't display background images (eg. Outlook). Whether you create email campaigns with background images is a design decision you should make based on which email clients your subscribers are using and whether you can provide an appropriate fallback. Personally, I use background images in email designs, but always ensure that the message is not lost/the design does not look broken, even with images turned off.
I wouldn't say you're being overly cautious by not using background images - when it comes to email, preparing for the worst case is a virtue :) But if you do choose to use them, just make sure that it's only for decorative purposes, there's a fallback color available and your clients are aware that the design will not display consistently across all email clients. Give us a holler if you have any questions about this :)