How to Write an Effective Memo: Tips and Templates

A memo (or memorandum) is a message or business document used for internal communications within a company. 

Whether you’re writing about a project, event or issue, the goal of writing a memo is to bring attention, inform, ask or confirm anything, request information or affect operations with the help of recipients. In most cases, memos are sent in the form of an email. Memos are usually sent to the members of a department or an entire company. 

To write an effective memo, you need to stick to proper formatting and structure.

How to convey your concepts through concise and informative messages? What structure and format are commonly used in memos? In our new blog post, we’ll cover a few tips on how to write a business memo. Let’s dive into it!

How to Write a Memo: Structure and Format

To disseminate the information in a clear manner, you need to follow several steps to create an easily readable and understandable document. Usually, business memos consist of an introduction, body and conclusion. 

Header. Make sure your header is relevant to the topic of your memo. The background information will provide recipients with the necessary context. Add information in the blank space of the following areas:

  • TO. Add the names and titles of everyone who will receive your message.
  • FROM. Add your full name and title.
  • DATE. Provide an accurate date.
  • SUBJECT. Provide a short description of the memo’s key message.

Introduction. In an introduction, you’ll write a couple of succinct sentences regarding the topic and purpose of your memo in more detail.

Body. Use a body paragraph to provide context and list the main ideas related to the topic. As most people skim messages, make sure to highlight important points by using bulleted/numbered lists, bold fonts and subheadings when necessary. Short paragraphs will also make your memo easier to read. 

Conclusion. The conclusion should contain a short summary that informs your colleagues what actions you expect to get from them. 

Don’t forget to close your email with your name, email address and phone number so that the recipients can contact you. Also, check if you have attached all the necessary documents that recipients can refer to. 

Tips to Improve Your Memo

Keep in mind who your audience is 

If you’re sending your memo to various departments, avoid specific and technical acronyms or abbreviations that are common to one field. Write a memo in a clear, concise and easily understandable manner. 

Avoid slang words. Formal language is what you need to make your memo look professional.

Proofread

Most probably, a memo with typos will not be considered important. We’re usually overwhelmed at work, so don’t send your memo in a rush and double-check it. To avoid grammar and spelling errors you can read it out loud, ask a colleague to check it with you or use an AI-based writing assistant like Linguix.

Create a powerful CTA

To make sure you’ll get the necessary reaction of the recipients, you need to include a proper call to action at the end of the memo. Use action verbs and an active voice to demonstrate the importance of the message and convey your confidence. 

General Memo Template

Date: [Month, day, year]

To: [Names of intended individual(s), department(s), or company(s)]

From: [Your name, title]

Subject: [Short subject line to describe the purpose of the memo]

Introduction

One-paragraph general explanation of what is the purpose of your message and the topic itself. 

Background

One or two paragraphs that explain the main idea and details necessary to take action. For example, what changes are crucial to be made, when, who is going to do it, what exact results you expect and so on.

CTA & Closing

A final note should sum up key takeaways of the memo and provide a clear non-ambiguous call to action as well as your contact information in case of any questions and comments.