Using Internal Email to Foster Employee Relationships

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In all of our past inspiration posts, we’ve looked at companies’ external emails (ie. emails going to their subscriber list(s)), so we thought it would be a nice change of pace to focus on internal emails in this post. After all, every company sends a bunch of internal emails, so we can’t leave them out of the picture!

Sending internal emails is a key line of communication for many companies. It enables employers to notify their employees of upcoming company events, product launches, HR changes, and more. But what about using email to foster relationships with your employees? That’s exactly what the folks at FutureCare Health, a leading provider of healthcare services in Maryland, do.

“We treat everyone with respect. Everyone is on a first name basis,” stated FutureCare’s president and CEO in an article with the Baltimore Sun. “There’s a level of accessibility. Anybody in the company can contact anyone else. We all work together. It’s really a unique environment. It’s a family business and we try to treat everyone in the company like they are members of the family.”

The philosophy and environment obviously pays off, since FutureCare has been voted “Top Workplace” by the Baltimore Sun for two years in a row!


One way that FutureCare fosters this “family relationship” is through personalized, caring emails. They selected ONeil Interactive to help develop a program that utilizes email to recognize employees on their birthdays and hire anniversaries. In addition, they wanted these beautiful, celebratory emails to look great in everyone’s inboxes.

With the help of ONeil, FutureCare managers also receive an daily report of birthdays and anniversaries so they are able to follow-up with face-to-face contact. No wonder they’ve been voted “Top Workplace” two years and counting!


Let’s take a look at the birthday email:


And the anniversary email:



The fact that you’re receiving one of these emails on a specific, important day is already personalized, but FutureCare doesn’t stop there! They take it a step further by adding the recipient’s name and the number of years at the company (for the anniversary email). And the best part? The emails come from one of FutureCare’s 13 different corporate leaders and includes their signatures for an extra personal touch. Talk about personalization done right. The email is tailored specifically for each recipient!


Since these emails are sent to employee’s personal email addresses, rather than their work email accounts, FutureCare wanted to optimize their emails as much as possible. Since only about 48% of email recipients see images automatically, they tackled image blocking full-on.

Birthday Email


Anniversary Email


In a technique similar to the one used by PizzaExpress, FutureCare carefully plans image slicing, and uses lots of nested tables combined with strategic background colors to achieve this effect. As you can see from the screenshots above, FutureCare goes into painstaking detail in order to make the images “appear” even when images are disabled.

In addition, through the use of live text throughout the email, all of the thoughtful messaging and personalization is present regardless of whether images are disabled or not. However, in order to take it to the next level, FutureCare could have used styled ALT text for the logo and signature to make them stand out even when images are disabled. And, let’s be serious — personalized ALT text for the signature would have been really impressive. I’m not sure the FutureCare employees would appreciate it as much as us email geeks, but who knows!


We frequently debate the usefulness and value of aggressive images-off optimization. Is it worth the time and investment? In this case, FutureCare believes that it is. They’ve received very positive feedback from employees about the emails’ sentiment and content. Several employees have commented positively on the emails’ designs, including their appearance with images off. Although, the images-off optimization may have been a little too good,

Since the Baltimore Sun interviews employees before choosing “Top Workplace” winners, the combination of these personalized emails and other great aspects of FutureCare, must have left an extremely positive impact on employees in order for them to be singing FutureCare’s praises. And, as a result, I deem these emails a success!


Do you have an email that you’d like us to feature in our inspiration series? Send it to us at!