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Memo subject line examples

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Memo subject line examples
June 16, 2019 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 5 comments

describing the parts of memos, and providing examples and explanations that For example, "Clothes" as a subject line could mean anything from a dress code.


“Memos” was written by Lee Ann Hodges, Tri-County Community College


Functions and Audience

Short for “memorandum,” a memo is a type of document used to communicate with others in the same organization.  Memos (or memoranda) are typically used for fairly short messages of one page or less, but informal reports of several pages may also employ memo format.


Memos are distinguished by a header that includes DATE, TO, FROM, and SUBJECT lines.  Other lines, such as CC or BCC, may be added as needed.  An RE (“Reference”) line may be used instead of SUBJECT, but this use is becoming rarer as “RE” is often mistaken as “Reply” because of its use in email.

  • DATE:  List the date on which the memo is distributed.
  • TO:  List the names of the recipients of the memo.  If there are several recipients, it’s acceptable to use a group name, such as “All Employees” or “Personnel Committee Members.”
  • FROM:  List the name and job title of the writer(s).
  • SUBJECT:  Think of the SUBJECT line as the title for the memo.  Make it specific so that readers can immediately identify the topic.

These headings may be double- or single-spaced, and the SUBJECT line is often in all capital letters.  Furthermore, the order of the items can vary.  Many organizations have their own style preferences on these issues.  If not, the order listed above, double-spaced, is the most common.

The text of memos typically uses block format, with single-spaced lines, an extra space between paragraphs, and no indentions for new paragraphs.  However, if a report using memo format stretches to a few pages in length, double spacing may be used to improve its readability.


Professional communication forms are organized according to one of two strategies:  Direct and indirect.

  • The direct organization strategy presents the purpose of the document in the first paragraph (sometimes the first sentence) and provides supporting details in the body.
  • The indirect organization strategy opens with relevant, attention-getting details that do not directly state the purpose of the document.  The purpose is revealed in the body of the message, usually sandwiched between supporting details.

The direct approach is used for good news or routine communication; the indirect approach is used for persuasive, sales, or bad news messages.

A directly stated purpose is welcome in good news or routine messages but could be viewed as abrupt or insensitive in a bad news or persuasive message.  When the audience is not receptive to the message, it is best to lead up to the purpose gradually.

In both types of organization, action information (such as deadlines or contact information) or a courteous closing statement is placed in the last paragraph.


Organization StrategyDefinitionType of DocumentContent
DirectWriter arrives at purpose quickly, sometimes in the first sentence.Used for good news or routine communication (audience is receptive or neutral)PurposeDetailsAction information or courteous close
IndirectWriter gradually builds up to the purpose, which is stated in the body.Used for negative, persuasive, or sales messages (audience is not receptive)Relevant, attention-getting statementsPurpose statement is sandwiched by details.Action information or courteous close

Sample Direct Memo


Sample Indirect Memo

Style and Tone

While memo reports and policy memos are examples of documents that have a more formal tone, most memos will have a conversational style—slightly informal but still professional.  The audience of memos are those with whom the writer works, so the writing style usually assumes a relationship with them (and therefore a certain lack of formality); just keep in mind that the relationship is a professional one, so the writing should reflect that.  Furthermore, as with all workplace documents, the audience may contain a variety of readers, and the style and tone should be appropriate for all of their technical and authority levels.

Too InformalToo Formal, Stuffy-Sounding, WordyAppropriate Balance
Hi, everyone.  Hope you had a great weekend.  You know those awards we give out every so often?  It’s time for those again!Variety Craft Supplies’ mission is to provide customers with affordable, quality supplies with superb customer service.  Excellent customer service includes being knowledgeable about the supplies, but it also goes beyond that.  It’s about having the right attitude about helping customers.  It’s time to reward employees who have a customer-oriented outlook.

Direct and concise opening states the purpose of the memo.

Please submit your nominations for the quarterly Customer Service Excellence Award by April 8.  Help us identify great employees!


Common Memo Writing Situations

Memos are used in a variety of workplace communication situations, from documentation of procedures and policies to simple announcements.  Below are some common types of memos:

  • Policies (changes and new)
  • Instructions
  • Procedures
  • Announcements
  • Trip reports

Distribution Medium

Memos may be distributed manually through print medium in organizations in which not all employees have access to email.  Organizations with access to email may distribute memos as attachments to email.

In organizations in which email reaches every employee (or every employee in the memo’s audience), writers must determine whether to send a memo or an email message to convey their information.  In cases such as this, writers should consider three factors:  the nature of the message, the depth/number of its details, and its likelihood of being printed for easier reference.  These types of messages should be written up in memo format and attached to an email message for fast (and environmentally friendly) distribution:

  • Messages that have an official aura, such as new policies or revisions of policies.
  • Messages containing much detail (such as instructions on how to calibrate a complicated piece of machinery).
  • Messages requiring reference away from a computer (necessitating a print copy).  Print copies of emails generally use a small type that is difficult to read.

*Some articles are used across multiple genres and disciplines.

How to Write a Memo [Template & Examples]. Caroline Forsey DATE: SUBJECT: I'm writing to inform you that [reason for writing memo].

Different Parts of a Business Memo | Sample Memo

memo subject line examples

Memo Writing

Memo writing is something of an art form. A letter is not a memo, nor is a memo a letter. A memo is a short, to the point communication conveying your thoughts, reactions or opinion on something. A memo can call people to action or broadcast a bit of timely news. With memo writing, shorter is better.

As with all writing, memo writing needs a structure. Because they are short, rambling meanderings will soon destroy the memo’s effectiveness and become a waste of productive time to those that read it and to the person who wrote it.

If you have something longer than a page, it’s better to send it as an attachment or a document that follows the memo used as a cover letter. Never make a memo too long. If someone takes a glance at a memo that appears to be too long, there’s a good chance it will be set aside for a time when they aren’t busy. This can defeat your memo’s purpose which is timely communication.

Basic Formats

Memos can be approached in different ways depending on your purpose:

  1. Decide if it’s to be persuasive or informative. While many memos are a combination of the two (“In order to process your claim promptly, please submit it no later than January 15.”), sometimes memos have to be one or the other for the reader to take the appropriate action. A persuasive memo engages the reader’s interest before issuing a directive, where as an informative memo outlines the facts and then requests the reader’s actions.
  2. Clearly state the purpose of communication in the subject line. Most memo formats have the basics of the header, like “to,” “from” and “date” in place. But you have a responsibility to make the subject line as descriptive as possible so the reader understands the intent. A memo simply titled “Vacation Time” might appear to be good news – until the document explains that vacation time won’t be granted unless first requested in writing. Thus, a better memo title might be “New Vacation Time Request Policy".
  3. Write memos with purpose and make that purpose known in the first paragraph. Needless memo writing should be a crime across all states. One way to make sure no one reads or heeds memos is to send them out for the slightest issue. Try to avoid doing this. Also, outline the purpose and the desired action in the memo’s first paragraph. Readers will become conditioned to the importance of a memo and gain that knowledge as soon as they open it.
  4. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Silly. Most memo formats accommodate one page of information. This means that the topic details should be concise, with clear directives and contacts for follow-up. If it’s a complex topic extending into multiple pages, still keep the language as direct as possible, add headings or bullets to guide the reader and conclude with a summary paragraph of key points.
    Reinforce the reader’s necessary action. At the end of the memo, specifically direct the reader to the desired action.
  5. Effective business communication improves workflow and relationships. Use the tools of memo formats and well-constructed information to your advantage.

Parts of a Memo

There are three basic reasons to write a memo:

  • to persuade action
  • to issue a directive
  • or to provide a report.

Regardless of your purpose, memos are generally divided into segments in order to organize the information and to achieve your intention.


The heading segment follows this general format:

TO: (readers' names and job titles)
CC: (any people you are copying the memo to)
FROM: (your name and job title)
DATE: (complete and current date)
SUBJECT: (what the memo is about, highlighted in some way)

  • Make sure you address the reader by his or her correct name and job title.
  • Be specific and concise in your subject line.

Opening Segment

The gist of a memo should occur in the opening sentences/paragraphs. It's a good idea to include some information about the context, a task statement and perhaps a purpose statement.

  1. The context is the event, circumstance, or background of the problem you are solving or the directive you are giving. You can use a paragraph to establish the background and state the problem or more commonly simply use the opening of a sentence. Include only what your reader needs and be sure it is clear.
  2. In the task statement describe what you are doing to deal with a situation. If an action was requested, refer to it by a sentence opening like, "You asked that I look at...." If you want to explain your intentions, you might say, "To determine the best method of xxx, I will...."
  3. Finally, the purpose statement of a memo gives your reason for writing it and forecasts what is in the rest of the memo. You want to come right out and tell your reader the kind of information that's in store. For example, you might say: "This memo presents a description of the current situation, some proposed alternatives, and my recommendations." If you choose to use headings for your memo segments, you can refer to your major headings in this forecast statement to provide a guide for your reader.

Summary Segment

If your memo is longer than a page, you may want to include a separate summary segment. This segment provides a brief statement of the key recommendations you have reached. These will help your reader understand the key points of the memo immediately. This segment may also include references to methods and sources you have used in your research, but remember to keep it brief.

You can help your reader understand your memo better by using headings for the summary and the discussion segments that follow it. Try to write headings that are short but that clarify the content of the segment. For example, instead of using "Summary" for your heading, try "New Rat-Part Elimination System," which is much more specific. The major headings you choose here are the ones that will appear in your purpose-statement forecast.

Discussion Segments

The discussion segments are the parts in which you get to include all the juicy details that support your ideas. Keep two things in mind:

  1. Begin with the information that is most important. This may mean that you will start with key findings or recommendations.
  2. Start with your most general information and move to your specific or supporting facts. (Be sure to use the same format when including details: strongest--->weakest.)
  3. For easy reading, put important points or details into lists rather than paragraphs when possible.
  4. Be careful to make lists parallel in grammatical form.

Closing Segment

You're almost done. After the reader has read your information, you want to close with a courteous ending stating what action you want your reader to take. Make sure you consider how the reader will benefit from the desired actions and how you can make those actions easier. For example, you might say, "I will be glad to discuss this recommendation with you during our Tuesday trip to the spa and follow through on any decisions you make."

Necessary Attachments

Make sure you document your findings or provide detailed information whenever necessary. You can do this by attaching lists, graphs, tables, etc. at the end of your memo. Be sure to refer to your attachments in your memo and add a notation about what is attached below your closing, like this:

Attached: Several Complaints about Product, January - June 2007


Persuasive Memorandum

To: Mary McGee, Alistair Warwranka, George Lipton
CC: Dorothy Barrie
From: The Boss
Date: June 1, 2006
Re: Need for New Memo Format

I’ve noticed that we don’t seem to be able to communicate important changes, requirements and progress reports throughout the company as effectively as we should. I propose developing one consistent memo format, recognizable by all staff as the official means of communicating company directives.

While I know this seems like a simple solution, I believe it will cut down on needless e-mail, improve universal communication and allow the staff to save necessary information for later referral.

Please talk among yourselves to determine the proper points of memo writing and return the input to me by 12 noon. I will then send out a notice to the entire staff regarding the new memo format.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this.

Directive Memo

To: All Staff
From: The Boss
Date: June 1, 2006
Re: New Memo Format Effective June 1

In order to make interoffice communications easier, please adhere to the following guidelines for writing effective memos:

  • Clearly state the purpose of the memo in the subject line and in the first paragraph.
  • Keep language professional, simple and polite.
  • Use short sentences.
  • Use bullets if a lot of information is conveyed.
  • Proofread before sending.
  • Address the memo to the person(s) who will take action on the subject, and CC those who need to know about the action.
  • Attach additional information: don’t place it in the body of the memo if possible.
  • Please put this format into practice immediately. We appreciate your assistance in developing clear communications.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me. Thank you.

Technical Memo

To: The Boss
From: Sue Masterson
Date: May 15, 2007
Re: Update on the T-12 Phase Three testing

As we enter Phase Four of the T-12 testing, I wanted to provide a progress overview of the Phase Three testing.

[The body of the memo might include two-four paragraphs outlining the purpose of the memo. If this is a longer memo, each paragraph will have a subhead to help guide the reader through the document. Finally, there is a summary paragraph, which features bullets highlighting the main points of each previous paragraph, and concludes the memo with a stated action required by the reader or writer.]

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Writing Business Memos

memo subject line examples

A memorandum, more commonly known as a memo, is a short message or record used for internal communication in a business. Once the primary form of internal written communication, memorandums have declined in use since the introduction of email and other forms of electronic messaging; however, being able to write clear memos certainly can serve you well in writing internal business emails, as they often serve the same purpose.

Purpose of Memos

Memos can be used to quickly communicate with a wide audience something brief but important, such as procedural changes, price increases, policy additions, meeting schedules, reminders for teams, or summaries of agreement terms, for example.

Writing Effective Memos

Communications strategist Barbara Diggs-Brown says that an effective memo is "short, concise, highly organized, and never late. It should anticipate and answer all questions that a reader might have. It never provides unnecessary or confusing information."

Be clear, be focused, be brief yet complete. Take a professional tone and write as if the world could read it—that is, don't include any information that's too sensitive for everyone to see, especially in this age of copy and paste or "click and forward."


Start with the basics: to whom the article is addressed, the date, and the subject line. Start the body of the memo with a clear purpose, state what you need the readers to know, and conclude with what you need readers to do, if necessary. Remember that employees may just skim the memo upon receipt, so use short paragraphs, subheads, and where you can, use lists. These are "points of entry" for the eye so the reader can refer back easily to the part of the memo that he or she needs.

Don't forget to proofread. Reading aloud can help you find dropped words, repetition, and awkward sentences.

Sample Memo About Print Schedule Change

Here is a sample internal memo from a fictional publishing company informing employees about upcoming schedule changes due to a Thanksgiving holiday. Production could also have sent separate memos to separate departments as well, especially if there were more detail that each department needed and that wouldn't pertain to the other departments.

From: E.J. Smith, Production Lead

Subject: Thanksgiving Print Schedule Change

Production would like to remind everyone that the Thanksgiving holiday will affect our print deadlines this month. Any hard-copy pages that would normally go out to the printer via UPS on a Thursday or Friday during the week will need to go out by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21.

Ad Sales and Editorial Departments

  • Make sure that anyone sending you text or images for publication won't be on vacation the week of the 19th. Set deadlines earlier for anything coming from outside. 
  • Please know that internal photography and graphic designers will have more work and less time to do it, so please route your work to the appropriate department earlier than normal.
  • Please do not send "rush" work later than November 16. Any short-turnaround items needed Thanksgiving week cannot be guaranteed to be completed by the earlier deadlines and must go through the scheduler's desk for approval before being assigned. Be early instead.

Photography and Graphics Departments

  • All members of the art department will be allowed to put in overtime during November as needed to deal with the crunch of the start of the holiday season and the earlier deadlines. 

Thank you in advance, everyone, for your help in getting materials in as early as possible and your consideration for the production department staff.

Sample Memo About a Meeting

The following is a fictional memo to set up a meeting with members of a team who are returning from a trade show.

From: C.C. Jones, Marketing Supervisor

Subject: Trade Show Return Meeting

Upon your return to work Friday, July 20, from the trade show, let's plan a noon lunch meeting in the east wing meeting room to go over how the show went. Let's plan to discuss what worked well and what didn't, such as:

  • Number of days in attendance
  • Amount and types of marketing materials provided
  • Booth displays
  • How the giveaways were received
  • The location of the booth and traffic at different times of day
  • What sparked interest in passersby
  • Booth staffing levels

I know that when you get back from a trade show you have a million things to follow up on, so we will keep the meeting to 90 minutes or less. Please come prepared with your feedback and constructive criticism on the marketing aspects of the show. Existing-customer feedback and new customer leads will be covered in a separate meeting with product and sales teams. Thank you for your work at the show.


Diggs-Brown, Barbara. The PR Styleguide. 3rd ed, Cengage Learning, 2012.

SUBJECT: Think of the SUBJECT line as the title for the memo. . While memo reports and policy memos are examples of documents that have a more formal.

20+ Memo Writing Examples & Samples in PDF | DOC | Pages

memo subject line examples

  • 1

    Search for memo templates. Consider whether you want to use a template instead of writing a memo from scratch. If so, your first course of action should be to search online for some good memo templates. Microsoft Word also has memo templates. Templates generally all share the same basic formatting, but they may use different fonts, sizes, and designs.
    • Download the template that best fits your needs.
    • Be sure to read the terms of use before using any templates from a web source.
  • 2

    Open your downloaded template on your computer. After you have pressed the download button, the template will automatically download into your computer or may take a few steps to start the download. It is downloaded as a zip file, so you need to unzip the file and then open it in Microsoft Word.
    • It’s a good idea to use the latest version of Microsoft Word in order to ensure that you will not run into any unforeseen software problems and that the template will operate as it was designed to function. If you are operating on an older version of Microsoft Word, simply update your software before downloading any templates.
  • 3

    Set up your header. Keep in mind that everything on the template is changeable. You can customize every part of the memo template to fit your particular needs. For instance, you can add your logo and copyright sign in the header section of the template. Just click on the header section and type in your company’s information.

  • 4

    Fill in the fields in the template’s header. Be sure to fill in the "TO" and "FROM" fields, as well as "CC" and "SUBJECT” fields. Use caution when filling these fields to ensure that you have not skipped over any field, leaving some of them blank, or that you have not made an error in typing somewhere along the way.

  • 5

    Type your message. Write the introduction, context, discussion and summary parts of your memo in the body. If you want, you can use bullet points or lists to organize information.
    • Maintain the template’s formatting. This will ensure that your paragraph alignment is proper and you have the correct margins and font size.
    • If necessary, you can even customize the memo to use a table. This is sometimes a good idea, especially if using a bullet list or something similar makes the memo look too crowded or difficult to read.
    • Make sure that you have deleted any words that were already in the template. Also, carefully proofread your memo before sending it.
  • 6

    Make sure to check the footer. The footer is the space at the bottom of the page that often has additional information. You might include your company information or personal contact information here. It is important that you take the time to ensure that this information is correct. The last thing you want to happen is to write an excellent memo and then have incorrect contact information or have that information missing altogether.

  • 7

    Customize your look. One of the most appealing things about the template is that you can even change the color of the document. This allows you to exercise a certain degree of personality and makes the entire document stand out more precisely. It also allows you to choose a color that is appropriate for the situation at hand in order to ensure that the memo is visually striking, yet professional.

  • 8

    Save your memo as a unique document. Be sure to save a copy of this memo. Then you will have a digital backup document that provides proof of your business communication.

  • 9

    Save the template so that you can use it again. Whenever you need to use the memo for a slightly different subject in the future, simply change each field to suit the particular memo subject. This will save you time and will also help you create a consistent memo that is professional and that will get the attention of people so the memo will be read in a prompt manner.

  • WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: How to write Memo

    Subject: Date: And yet the memo heading is a source of unnecessary and costly mistakes. Perhaps Compare the three examples below: A good subject line.

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