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How to Write Memos that Drive Results

Learning how to write a memo can help you communicate effectively with external and internal recipients. Get started with our guide.

Businesses rely on proper communication both externally and internally. They connect with customers and prospects to drive sales. On the other hand, internal communications ensure all employees are up to date on the latest company news.

One way businesses communicate internally is by using a memorandum. Knowing how to write memos can help you effectively relay essential information to workers within a company.

Also known as an office memorandum, a memo provides basic information and is sent to multiple individuals simultaneously, making it great for mass communication. However, you can also send a memo to individual employees. For instance, if you're virtually onboarding a new hire, you can send a memo outlining the process. These messages also provide details about the steps recipients should take.

You can use memos for notifying employees of company updates, explaining new procedures, informing staff of changes within the company, and announcing promotions. One of the most important aspects of a memo is its structure. Since they provide only necessary information, knowing how to compose a memo that's short and to the point is crucial.

Keep reading to learn how to write a memo for your business:

How to write a memo

The memo format should stay consistent regardless of the announcement. While they tend to vary in length depending on the news, memos should never be longer than 1 or 2 pages. Instead, the primary purpose is to share information as quickly as possible, which means a short memo is usually the most effective option.

Here are a few steps to help you learn how to write a business memo:

1. Write your heading

The heading contains elements like the To, From, Memo Date, and Subject, all of which help the receiver understand that the message is for them and what it's about. Since memos can help serve as documentation that someone has been notified, including the date is crucial because it'll help both parties find it later.

The subject line of a memo should be straightforward. Because a memo only has 1 subject, it should provide a basic overview of what it'll be about.

2. Write your opening statement

The opening statement, also known as the declaration, is part of the body of the memo. This is where you share the purpose of the communication and why you're sending it to the receiver. It allows you to introduce the main idea by simply stating key pieces of information and providing background details.

3. Provide context

After the opening statement is the discussion part of the memo, which goes into more detail about the subject, acknowledging the ultimate topic and goal of the message. The body should have clear, organized information and 1 or 2 paragraphs to present the information coherently. Use bullet points or lists wherever possible to ensure readability.

4. Include next steps

If recipients are required to take action, the memo should include next steps indicating the activity and deadline.

5. End with a closing statement

Your closing statement ends the memo with a polite and professional sign-off that includes your name and position.

Your memo can also include attachments if you're sending it as an email. If your memorandum is long, you should also provide a summary in case staff needs to return to it for more information.

When you’re done writing the memo, you can distribute it to recipients via email or internal mail. Posting the memo on a bulletin board in a shared space, such as a break room or office lobby, is also a good way to spread your message.

Memorandum template

The basic memo template follows the same structure, whether it's long or short. Workplaces tend to use a single memo format and template to make it easier to create and understand them.

Let's take a look at a few examples of memo templates you can use to start communicating with employees, business partners, and customers:

Business memo template

  • To: [Names of recipients]
  • From: [Your name]
  • Date: [Month, Day, Year]
  • Subject: [Clear and concise subject line]
  • Body: [ A few paragraphs that relay information, including background and context. This should be short, descriptive, and detailed]
  • Action items: [A list of next steps or action items that must be completed and their deadlines]
  • Closing statement: [A final call to action or closing statement that thanks, employees. It may include additional information referencing any attachments in the email.]
  • Sign off: [A common closing statement that includes your name and job title]

Here's a business memo example that can help you understand how this memo template would look filled in and start drafting your own office communications:

To: All Employees

From: Jacob Parker

Date: July 26, 2023

Subject: Employee Recognition Program Launch

I am writing to inform you that our employee recognition program will launch this month. This program aims to acknowledge and appreciate the outstanding contributions of each of our employees, fostering a healthy and positive work environment while recognizing the exceptional efforts that drive our success.

Key features of the employee recognition program include:

- Monthly employee spotlights - Suggestion boxes - Departmental recognition

You'll receive an email in the coming days regarding the procedures and criteria for the program, and we encourage everyone to actively participate in making this initiative a success.

Thank you for your dedication to our business.


Jacob Parker


This is an example of a memo informing staff of a new employee recognition launch, which affects everyone throughout the organization. As you can see, it contains essential elements, such as a simple and clear subject line, an opening statement that provides context, and more specific or supporting facts about the program in the body of the memo. Here, the subject line summarizes the purpose and content of the memo.

While this example doesn't necessarily have the next steps or action items, it informs employees that they'll receive an email with the program's details in a few days.

The business memo example includes a short closing statement thanking employees and a simple, easy-to-understand sign-off with the sender's name and title.

Tips for writing a business memo

Learning how to write a business memo is relatively easy if you know how to write an email. However, the goals of these 2 business communications are different. While emails are designed to engage employees and are more personal, a memo is more formal and used for official organizational communications. Knowing when to use an office memo instead of an email depends on the subject matter and the overall nature of the message.

You should send a memo for official business communications, especially those that relay complex or detailed information. Since business memos follow a basic and organized structure, they allow for better readability than internal office emails.

Memos are best suited for internal communications within the company or departments, especially if the information in the message requires documentation.

On the other hand, internal office emails are best when you need to facilitate back-and-forth communication between staff members. Email is the best option if you need an answer quickly.

Other tips for writing a business memo include the following:

  • Proofread your memo. Always proofread your entire memo before sending it out. You should ensure everyone's names are correct, along with the memo subject and body paragraphs. Your memo should be easy to understand, so edit for grammar and overall readability. Since memos typically serve as documentation within a business, you want your memo to have all the necessary information relayed to employees in an easy-to-read format.
  • Remember your audience. If your audience is your staff, they don't need all the same bells and whistles your customers would need in a marketing email. The goal here isn't to convert. Instead, you want to notify employees to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Get to the point. The purpose of a memo is to relay information in the most efficient and effective way. Your opening paragraph, or the first paragraph, should be short and provide context, while the body of the memo delivers more detailed information. Try to keep your memo as short as possible while providing employees with enough information to understand the written document.

Communicate with your team using a memo

In a fast-paced business environment, speedy communication is crucial for productivity. A memo is a simple and effective way to communicate externally and internally These important business documents can enhance clarity while providing leaders with a structured and concise format for conveying important information about the company.

Harness the power of business memos with Mailchimp. Our all-in-one marketing tool makes it easy to communicate important messages and share updates with your employees. Additionally, you can use our insights and data visualization reports to see if your memos have been opened and read to ensure more effective communication within your organization. Sign up for Mailchimp today.

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