Tips on how to Write a Memo [Template, Examples & HubSpotter Tips]


When there’s a major shift within the enterprise panorama or an necessary win, it’s necessary to unfold the phrase. A memo is one of the simplest ways to get the job accomplished. Not like an e mail, your memo will exit to your total division or everybody on the firm. No stress. (Effectively, perhaps some stress…)

hand writing a memo using a memo template

Earlier than writing a memo, I take a while to hype myself up. This little bit of inside communication shall be learn by my friends, my boss, and certain my boss’ boss. Getting the language proper is crucial, and each phrase counts.

On this put up, I’ll share my expertise writing memos together with ideas from my friends at HubSpot. From there, I’ll showcase stellar memo examples and a template that can assist you create your personal. Let’s dive in!

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

Memos are shared to tell readers about new info and have functions for various communities and companies.

Communities can use memos to inform folks inside it about public security pointers, promote varied occasions, and lift consciousness on topics that have an effect on their lives.

Companies can use memos to relay info involving newly up to date insurance policies, modifications in process, necessary milestones, or needed worker actions, similar to attending an upcoming assembly or conference.

I typically discover myself writing memos when there are important modifications to my program at HubSpot. Maybe we’re implementing a brand new workflow, reorganizing the construction of our workforce, or sharing insights from a challenge we simply accomplished. Memos denote significance, so I solely write them when I’ve necessary updates to share that affect a number of stakeholders.

We’ll discover extra about when memos are needed beneath. However first, let’s focus on how you can write a memo.

You possibly can put collectively a memo in just a few quick steps. All memos ought to embrace the next.

1. Write a heading.

It doesn’t matter what form of memo you’re writing, you’ll want to incorporate a heading. This part ought to embrace who the memo is for (whether or not a person or division), the date, who the memo is from, and a topic line.

Your topic line ought to be quick, attention-grabbing, and provides readers a basic thought of what the memo is about.

I typically pair a primary, eye-catching title with a deck beneath the headline that has extra info. For instance, if I had been writing a put up about A.I. in content material advertising, I would title it “The Robotic Revolution: How A.I. Shapes the Search Panorama.”

Ensure the tone of your title matches the seriousness of the subject material and your group’s communication model. A witty opener gained’t be proper for each memo.

2. Write an introduction.

Keep in mind, you need your memo to be temporary and information-packed. Your introduction ought to be an environment friendly use of house. It ought to spotlight the problem or downside and the answer you determined to maneuver ahead with.

That’s a actuality that I personally battle with. As a author, I wish to embrace these eloquent phrases and considerate transitions that sound nice when learn aloud. Nonetheless, I have to take a unique method for memos. My introduction ought to simply summarize the aim of the memo in two to a few sentences.

You should utilize descriptive language in your intro when it immediately pertains to the aim of your memo. Metaphors, similes, and storytelling gadgets can hook your readers. Kaitlin Milliken, a senior program supervisor at HubSpot, remembers a memo she created that associated to making a workers made up of material consultants.

“I opened with a metaphor about leisure basketball — the place folks know the principles however don’t have positions they excel in — versus skilled basketball the place everybody has a specialty,” Milliken says. “I then transitioned into the performs my workforce was engaged on to create this professional workforce.”

With regards to metaphors, don’t pressure these comparisons. Solely use them the place they make sense and after they make your message stronger.

3. Present background on the problem.

Keep in mind, memos exit to a large group of staff. Not everybody studying your memo may have the identical background that you simply do as a author. You’ll want a piece to clarify any needed context that folk have to know earlier than going ahead.

So, what do you set in? I requested Basha Coleman, the most effective memo writers on my workforce. Colem is a principal advertising supervisor on HubSpot’s viewers improvement workforce.

Coleman says she features a part on the high of her memos that cowl the next:

  • The scenario.
  • The affect of the scenario.
  • Advisable options.

“This provides stakeholders the need-to-know information instantly in case they don’t have time to learn the entire memo without delay,” Coleman says.

Past that, I wish to hyperlink to different necessary paperwork that present context on a subject. That may very well be a associated memo from a unique workforce with extra info, a information article that you simply’re immediately responding to, or a related dashboard that showcases the problem.

You don’t need this part to be lengthy. Nonetheless, if people are enthusiastic about studying extra, you’ve simply given them the ability to take action.

The final necessary tip? Up the urgency. In case your memo pitches one thing new, you wish to clarify why the change is pressing and the significance of shifting now.

“The easiest way to do that is to clarify what we‘re vulnerable to shedding if we don’t take motion right here,” says Karla Prepare dinner Hesterberg, a director of content material advertising at HubSpot.

For pitch memos, Hesterberg suggests telling readers why this downside is necessary/why folks ought to care. For explanatory memos, she recommends explaining what the knowledge within the memo shall be used for.

4. Define motion objects and timeline (Non-obligatory).

Relying on the aim of your memo, you will have motion objects for workers to finish or present a timeline of when modifications will happen. For instance, they could want to finish a process or present info by a sure deadline.

This part ought to embrace the next:

  • When staff can anticipate modifications to enter impact.
  • What modifications have already been made and what to anticipate sooner or later.
  • Deadlines they should adhere to.

When creating a timeline, keep away from simply making a paragraph with dates interspersed all through.

“Don’t be afraid to make use of visible cues in your memo, like tables, heading colours to show hierarchy of knowledge, charts, and graphs. These can hold a memo temporary and skimmable,” suggests Coleman.

Milliken agrees. In a current memo on constructing a thought management program, she included tables that laid out every step her workforce would take, extra particulars about what was wanted, and when it could happen.

I additionally included an infographic of a pipeline to point out the levels of the challenge and the way lengthy every would take proportionally,” she says. “This makes it simpler to visualise a timetable than simply skimming chunks of textual content.”

Right here’s a pattern desk I created to show.

how to write a memo, table

If no motion is required on the worker’s behalf, you may go away this part out.

5. Justify any reasoning.

For those who’re speaking a request or something new that might ruffle some feathers, you can also make your case by providing rationale as to why your announcement or request is so necessary.

“Take into consideration your audience and attempt to anticipate areas the place they could ask questions, have issues, or want extra readability,” says Hesterberg. “Attempt to re-read as somebody who would not have all of the context it’s important to determine areas it’s essential to construct up.”

Keep in mind, because the memo author, you’re an professional on the topic. It’s possible you’ll have to ask a supervisor or a peer to evaluate your memo with a skeptical eye. The place have they got questions? What wants extra justification?

From there, you may strengthen your case. This typically contains that includes statistics as to why it’s important and pressing to make a change.

“Remember the fact that information is tremendous highly effective however should be offered in a method that enhances the narrative quite than complicated it,” says Amanda Sellers, a weblog technique supervisor at HubSpot.

For instance, the phrase “58.97% met the benchmark and 10.26% far exceeded the benchmark” is clunky. As a substitute, Sellers suggests writing, ”Our technique is working almost 70% of the time.”

The primary instance is unwieldy, Sellers notes, referring to methodology {that a} broader viewers is much less more likely to care about. In the meantime, “the second viewers demonstrates the extra necessary factor: why that methodology was necessary and what you may take from it,” Sellers explains.

6. Soften any blows (Non-obligatory).

For those who’re making an enormous change that may very well be seen as controversial or making daring statements the place folks would possibly really feel slighted, you may soften this with a well-placed caveat.

For instance, with the rise of AI, you may be speaking a brand new firm coverage associated to utilizing AI. You would soften the blow by sharing that it hasn’t been a difficulty for most individuals, but it surely’s necessary to have a transparent coverage in place for dealing with it.

7. Embrace a closing assertion.

Your closing assertion will embrace any info you’d like to strengthen. Are there any particular contacts readers ought to attain out to for questions? In that case, embrace them right here.

“A conclusion that simply reiterates your details is boring and more likely to be skipped,” Millike says. “Finish in your most compelling factors. You possibly can both reassert urgency or focus on the assets it’s essential to achieve success.”

Milliken typically closes on the assist her workforce requires to seek out success. That may very well be extra monetary assets, a champion inside management, or extra time to determine the change.

8. Overview and proofread earlier than sending.

This step could appear to be a no brainer, but it surely‘s necessary to evaluate your doc earlier than sending it out. Memos are supposed to inform readers of upcoming modifications and relay necessary info. You don’t wish to threat inflicting confusion with a typo or misstatement.

“Memos typically have a broad viewers, so you may wish to craft a story that’s simply understood irrespective of who’s studying it,” says Sellers. “Meaning telling a persuasive story, attending to the purpose shortly, anticipating questions, and reducing jargon to seek out the best method of claiming one thing.”

8. Create any audio or video aids.

As soon as the memo is written, I like to provide it one final cross. What would make the message much more clear? Ought to I work with inventive to construct an infographic? Ought to I amplify the doc over our e mail channels? Now that I’ve invested the time, I wish to ensure my message is heard.

Coleman typically creates a recording with a deck, highlighting an important factors within the doc.

“Together with video summaries of my memos with Loom is useful for accessibility and busy stakeholders who wish to hearken to updates whereas engaged on different duties,” she notes.

Now that you simply’ve discovered what goes right into a memo, this is an easy-to-follow enterprise memo template with examples of how you can use them to serve completely different wants as steering.

Varieties of Memos

Now you understand how to write down a memo, however earlier than you begin banging away at your keyboard, it’s useful to know the forms of memos which might be on the market.

1. Request Memo

In a nutshell, request memos are precisely what they sound like: memos which might be designed to make a request and get a constructive response. When writing request memos, concentrate on utilizing persuasive language and, the place attainable, stats or numbers to spotlight why a “sure” is the precise reply.

Some pattern makes use of of request memos may be to request a brand new buy out of your firm or authorization for skilled studying or volunteer alternatives.

When writing request memos, be clear in your request, state any prices, share why it’s necessary, and hold emotion and private emotions out of the request.

2. Informative Memo

You would possibly see these referred to as announcement memos as effectively, and so they make up the majority of most memos I’ve seen. The objective of informative memos is to speak new info to your viewers. Pattern makes use of of informative memos would possibly embrace modifications in coverage, firm information, new processes, and even new workers members.

In the end, you may consider an informative memo as a transparent, concise approach to share bulletins along with your viewers and supply any justification needed for the brand new info.

3. Affirmation Memo

You possibly can consider affirmation memos as a paper path to verify key stakeholders have a document of discussions. Pattern makes use of of affirmation memos are documenting conversations, so you will have justification ought to it ever be referred to as into query, clarifying something that has ambiguity to keep away from misunderstanding down the highway.

When writing affirmation memos, specificity and readability ought to be your primary objective.

4. Directive Memo

Directive memos are largely self-explanatory. When it’s essential to talk how you can do one thing to your viewers, you would possibly write a directive memo providing detailed directions which might be straightforward to observe.

Pattern makes use of of directive memos embrace sharing how you can implement a brand new course of, adjust to new necessities, and even full needed duties.

When to Write a Memo

As you’ve seen with the forms of memos above, most memos are designed to speak new info. Nonetheless, memo functions stretch far and huge.

“Memos serve quite a lot of functions, however typically talking, they both pitch or suggest one thing new, consolidate info into one place for the sake of alignment, or clarify or make clear details about a challenge or program,” says Hesterberg.

You would possibly write a memo within the following eventualities:

  • You’ve gotten a brand new coverage, and it’s essential to clarify it to your viewers.
  • Sharing necessary firm updates and knowledge.
  • Saying new workers members or promotions.
  • Confirming particulars of a dialogue to get everybody on the identical web page and create a paper path.
  • Educate or inform folks how you can do one thing.
  • Requesting one thing and justifying why it issues.

There are many prospects on the market. In a nutshell, you probably have one thing it’s essential to share, a memo may be the reply.

Enterprise Memo Template

MEMORANDUM

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT:

I am writing to tell you that [reason for writing memo].

As our firm continues to develop … [evidence or reason to support your opening paragraph].

Please let me know you probably have any questions. Within the meantime, I might respect your cooperation as [official business information] takes place.

Enterprise Memo Template Format

The enterprise memo template format is designed to successfully talk your message. A memo ought to disseminate the required info in a method that’s straightforward for a mass variety of staff to digest.

An correct topic line will alert them that this memo is related to them particularly. And starting with an government abstract permits recipients to grasp the overall message earlier than they dive deeper into the small print. The background info affords context to the message, and the overview and timeline ought to reply questions which might be more likely to come up.

Header

In your header, you‘ll wish to clearly label your content material “Memorandum” so your readers know precisely what they’re receiving. As beforehand talked about, you‘ll wish to embrace “TO”, “FROM”, “DATE”, and “SUBJECT”. This info is related for offering content material, like who you’re addressing and why.

Paragraph One

Within the first paragraph, you‘ll wish to shortly and clearly state the aim of your memo. You would possibly start your sentence with the phrase, “I’m writing to tell you … “ or ”I am writing to request … “.

A memo is supposed to be quick, clear, and to the purpose. You will wish to ship your most crucial info upfront after which use subsequent paragraphs as alternatives to dive into extra element.

Paragraph Two

Within the second paragraph, you‘ll wish to present context or supporting proof. For example, let’s say your memo informs the corporate of an inside reorganization.

If that is so, paragraph two ought to say one thing like, “As our firm continues to develop, we have determined it makes extra sense to separate our video manufacturing workforce from our content material workforce. This manner, these groups can focus extra on their particular person objectives.”

Paragraph Three

Within the third paragraph, you‘ll wish to embrace your particular request of every worker — if you happen to’re planning a workforce outing, that is the house you’d embrace, “Please RSVP with dietary restrictions,” or “Please e mail me with questions.”

Quite the opposite, if you happen to‘re informing workers of upcoming development to the constructing, you would possibly say, “I’d respect your cooperation throughout this time.” Even when there isn‘t any particular motion you anticipate from staff, it’s useful to incorporate the way you hope they’re going to deal with the information and whether or not you anticipate them to do one thing in response to the memo.

Downloadable Memo Template

Wish to see the above memo format in its last type? Obtain HubSpot’s free enterprise memo templates, proven beneath. The doc offers you a framework that kinds your memorandum into subtopics to assist staff higher digest the knowledge and perceive what’s anticipated of them after studying it.

how to write a memo

Obtain this Template

Memo Examples

Totally different industries or conditions would require barely completely different memos. Sure ones will must be longer or shorter, others could not have a timeline, and a few may have in depth background info. The format of your memo ought to change to suit the message you need your staff to obtain.

Launch Delay Memo

how to write a memo example, launch delay

The target of this memo is to announce that the launch of a product shall be delayed. The introduction contains the brand new date, so a timeline or lengthy overview isn’t needed. This format of this memo may very well be utilized to different conditions the place a easy, however necessary, change is going on.

What I like: The launch memo supplies readers with perception into product launch delays, which might alleviate some frustration that prospects or staff could in any other case really feel in the event that they weren’t knowledgeable.

Different date modifications, promotions, milestones, or product bulletins may additionally make the most of this format.

Constructing Replace Memo

how to write a memo example, building update

There are logistical points of a enterprise that concern your staff however don’t essentially contain their work. This memo depicts an instance of a kitchen transform within the workplace. It’s a little bit of an inconvenience however not one of a giant magnitude.

What I like: This memo demonstrates a enterprise’s understanding of the affect that renovations can have on staff and reveals respect and consideration for his or her wants.

This memo format may very well be utilized to different constructing updates, work-from-home days, or different widespread however minor bulletins.

Neighborhood Memo

how to write a memo example, persuasion

Celebrations, occasions, theme days, or different enjoyable issues on your staff can be communicated by memos. Neighborhood memos like this instance are typically shorter as a result of they don’t require a lot background info or many particulars.

What I like: This memo has clear instructions on the place to seek out the occasion happening, one thing which might’ve been much less efficient if it solely included the ground quantity.

Memos of this nature ought to embrace a abstract, date, and site at a minimal.

Persuasion Memo

Persuasion memos are used to encourage readers to take motion relating to an occasion or proposition, like voting or petitioning.

What We Like: This persuasion memo prioritizes giving the reader info to study on their very own and decide primarily based on their findings.

The principle parts of the persuasion memo ought to embrace an outline of the duty at hand, context to study extra about it, and a name to motion that emphasizes the affect the reader can doubtlessly make.

Write Your Memos To the Level

The principle distinction between a memo and simply an e mail will not be the extent of complexity. It’s the dimensions of the viewers. A memo might be easy or intricate so long as it successfully communicates your message and is related to the receiving group of staff. And, the message itself ought to be clear and concise, irrespective of which memo format you employ.

Editor’s observe: This put up was initially printed in October 2018 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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