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How to Write a Memo [Template & Examples]

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How to Write a Memo [Template & Examples]

A memo (also known as a memorandum, or “reminder”) is used for internal communications regarding procedures or official business within an organization.

Unlike an email, a memo is a message you send to a large group of employees, like your entire department or everyone at the company. You might need to write a memo to inform staff of upcoming events or broadcast internal changes.

→ Download Now: 4 Free Memo Templates [Free Resource]

If you need to inform your employees of official internal business, we’ll show you how to write a memo to better communicate your message. But before we break it down, let’s talk about the many purposes of memos.

Memorandums are shared to inform readers about new information and have applications for different communities and businesses.

Communities can use memos to tell people within it about public safety guidelines, promote various events, raise awareness on subjects that affect their lives.

Businesses can use memos to relay information involving newly updated policy, changes in procedure, or persuade employees to take an action, such as attend an upcoming meeting, convention, or a celebration for organizational milestones.

Next, we’ll walk you through writing a memo of your own.

You can put together a memo in a few short steps. All memos should include the following:

1. Write a heading.

No matter what kind of memo you’re writing, you’ll need to include a heading. This section should include who the memo is for (whether an individual or department), the date, who the memo is from, and a subject line.

Your subject line should be, short, attention-grabbing, and give readers a general idea of what the memo is about.

2. Write an introduction.

Your introduction should summarize the purpose of your memo in two to three sentences. It should highlight the issue or problem and the solution you decided to move forward with.

3. Provide background on the issue.

In this section, explain the reasoning behind the memo. For example, it could be changes in the budget, a company restructuring, or a new rollout of procedures. This explanation should provide justification for the changes being implemented.

How to write a memo infographic with steps

4. Outline action items and timeline (Optional).

Depending on the purpose of your memo, you may have action items for employees to complete or provide a timeline of when changes will take place. For example, they may need to complete a task or provide information by a certain deadline. This section should include the following:

  • When employees can expect changes to go into effect
  • What changes have already been made and what to expect in the future
  • Deadlines they need to adhere to

If no action is needed on the employee’s behalf, you can leave this section out.

5. Include a closing statement.

Your closing statement will include any information you’d like to reinforce. Are there any specific contacts readers should reach out to for questions? If so, include them here.

6. Review and proofread before sending.

This step may seem like a no-brainer but it’s important to review your document before sending it out. Memos are meant to inform readers of upcoming changes and relay important information. You don’t want to risk causing confusion with a typo or misstatement.

To begin making your own business memos, here’s an easy-to-follow business memo template with examples of how to use them to serve different needs as guidance.

Business Memo Template

MEMORANDUM

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT:

I’m writing to inform you that [reason for writing memo].

As our company continues to grow … [evidence or reason to support your opening paragraph].

Please let me know if you have any questions. In the meantime, I’d appreciate your cooperation as [official business information] takes place.

Business Memo Template Format

The business memo template format is designed to effectively communicate your message. A memo should disseminate the necessary information in a way that is easy for a mass number of employees to digest.

An accurate subject line will alert them that this memo is relevant to them specifically. And beginning with an executive summary allows recipients to understand the general message before they dive deeper into the details. The background information offers context to the message, and the overview and timeline should answer questions that are likely to come up.

Header:

In your header, you’ll want to clearly label your content “Memorandum” so your readers know exactly what they’re receiving. As previously mentioned, you’ll want to include “TO”, “FROM”, “DATE”, and “SUBJECT”. This information is relevant for providing content, like who you’re addressing, and why.

Paragraph One:

In the first paragraph, you’ll want to quickly and clearly state the purpose of your memo. You might begin your sentence with the phrase, “I’m writing to inform you … ” or “I’m writing to request … “. A memo is meant to be short, clear, and to the point. You’ll want to deliver your most critical information upfront, and then use subsequent paragraphs as opportunities to dive into more detail.

Paragraph Two:

In the second paragraph, you’ll want to provide context or supporting evidence. For instance, let’s say your memo is informing the company of an internal re-organization. If this is the case, paragraph two should say something like, “As our company continues to grow, we’ve decided it makes more sense to separate our video production team from our content team. This way, those teams can focus more on their individual goals.”

Paragraph Three:

In the third paragraph, you’ll want to include your specific request of each employee — if you’re planning a team outing, this is the space you’d include, “Please RSVP with dietary restrictions,” or “Please email me with questions.”

On the contrary, if you’re informing staff of upcoming construction to the building, you might say, “I’d appreciate your cooperation during this time.” Even if there isn’t any specific action you expect from employees, it’s helpful to include how you hope they’ll handle the news and whether you expect them to do something in response to the memo.

Downloadable Memo Template

Want to see the above memo format in its final form? Download HubSpot’s free business memo templates, shown below. The document gives you a framework that sorts your memorandum into subtopics to help employees better digest the information and understand what’s expected of them after reading it.

Memo templateDownload this Template

Memo Examples

Different industries or situations will require slightly different memos. Certain ones will need to be longer or shorter, others may not have a timeline, and some will have extensive background information. The format of your memo should change to fit the message you want your employees to receive.

Launch Delay Memo

Business memo example for launch delay

The objective of this memo is to announce that the launch of a product will be delayed. The introduction includes the new date, so a timeline or long overview isn’t necessary. This format of this memo could be applied to other situations where a simple, but important, change is occurring.

What We Like: The launch memo provides readers with insight behind product launch delays, which can alleviate some frustration that customers or employees may otherwise feel if they were not informed.

Other date changes, promotions, milestones, or product announcements could also utilize this format.

Building Update Memo

Business memo example for building update

There are logistical aspects of a business that concern your employees, but don’t necessarily involve their work. This memo depicts an example of a kitchen remodel in the office. It’s a bit of an inconvenience but not one of a large magnitude.

What We Like: This memo demonstrates a business’s understanding of the impact that renovations can have on employees and shows respect and consideration for their needs.

This memo format could be applied to other building updates, work-from-home days, or other widespread but minor announcements.

Community Memo

Business memo example for community announcement

Celebrations, events, theme days, or other fun things for your employees can also be communicated through memos. Community memos like this example are generally shorter because they don’t require much background information or many details.

What We Like: This memo has clear directions on where to find the event taking place, something which would’ve been less effective if it only would’ve included the floor number.

Memos of this nature should include a summary, date, and location at minimum.

Persuasion Memo

business memo example for persuasion memo

Persuasion memos are used to encourage readers to take action regarding an event or proposition, like voting or petitioning.

What We Like: This persuasion memo prioritizes giving the reader information to learn on their own and make a decision based on their findings.

The main components of the persuasion memo should include an overview of the task at hand, context to learn more about it, and a call to action that emphasizes the impact the reader can potentially make.

Write Your Memos To the Point

The main difference between a memo and just an email is not the level of complexity, it’s the size of the audience. A memo can be simple or intricate, as long as it effectively communicates your message and is relevant to the receiving group of employees. And the message itself should be clear and concise, no matter which memo format you use.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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Salesforce rolls out new edition of Marketing Cloud for small businesses

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Salesforce summer 2023 release: The business executive's guide

Today Salesforce announced Marketing Cloud Growth, an edition of Marketing Cloud designed specifically for small businesses.

With help from AI, this edition makes it easy for marketers to segment audiences, create and execute email campaigns from text to image, optimize campaign performance and create unified customer profiles. It also has a prompt builder that can store and manage known reliable prompts for organizations.

Dig deeper: 70% of SMB marketers willing to pay more for tools with AI or automation

Salesforce developed the new edition by looking at the most common use cases for which small businesses frequenty don’t have the people or resources. This includes things like personalizing campaigns and advanced testing.

The company is also letting small businesses (those with fewer than 200 employees) that have Sales or Service Enterprise Edition “get started with Data Cloud at no cost.” Marketing Cloud Growth will initially be available in the U.S. and Canada and is expected to roll out to Europe, the Middle East and Asia by the end of the year.

Why we care. First of all, small businesses need all the help they can get. This creates an opportunity to start using AI within a centralized marketing workflow rather than importing content from independent generative AI tools. Perhaps it’s also a sign of Salesforce moving to compete with platforms (can we say HubSpot?) that more overtly court SMB clients.

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