background attribute in td

I use Stig's Bulletproof background images generator for all my background images and love it very much, however my ESP told me that the attribute 'background' is not valid in a td, thus they don't display the background image in their preview rendering engine.

They told me I need to use the CSS inline style 'background-image' instead.  But I feel like that would have been used if it was the better choice.  Right?

Does anyone know if my email would break in some way if I use CSS instead of an attribute?  I am particularly sensitive to DPI scaling as the client this email is for views at 125% in Outlook 2013.

Thanks so much!

Stig Stig, 2 years ago

Hey Veronica,

Sorry you didn't get a reply sooner. Very cool to hear you're enjoying :)

Your ESP is correct that the background attribute is not valid valid on td elements. But in email, working code beats valid code.

The HTML attribute does actually have better support in email clients than the CSS background-image property does, with and Lotus Notes 8.5 being the main email clients that only accept the HTML attribute. Gmail used to be on that list too, but they've added support for the CSS syntax, I believe at the same time as they stopped blocking images by default.

If you have statistics that show which email clients your subscribers use, that can help you determine how much of an issue your ESP's lack of <td background> support is.

Regarding images scaling when Outlook users zoom, this issue is actually not affected by how the table cell background image is applied, since these recipients will see only the VML version of the background image.

Michael Muscat has posted some really useful info on a bit of XML you can include in the email to tell Outlook how to scale your images. This is something we'll consider adding to in a future update.

The Campaign Monitor Blog – HTML email smarts to go with your good looks.

200,000 companies around the world can't be wrong.

From Australia to Zimbabwe, and everywhere in between, companies count on 
Campaign Monitor for email campaigns that drive real business results.

Get started for free