Memo vs Email: Difference and Comparison

Communication plays a key role in workplace or personal settings. With the advent of several online modes of communication, it becomes confusing to make the right choice for the specific purpose.

Memo and Email are two types of commonly confused communications. While they may seem identical, a memo and an email vary in their components, nature, origin of the word, and closing statement. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Memos are formal, internal company communications used for conveying information, policies, or decisions, while emails serve as a more informal and versatile method of communication.
  2. Memos follow a specific format with a header, body, and closing, whereas emails can be customized and personalized with various formatting options.
  3. Emails can include attachments, hyperlinks, and multimedia, while memos are limited to text and basic formatting.

Memo vs Email

Memos, short for memorandum, are written messages that are commonly used for internal communication within an organization. Email is a versatile tool for communication that refers to an electronic message that is sent through the internet and can be used for both internal and external communication.

Memo vs Email

Memo is a method of exchanging information in a formal manner. Memos eliminate the need for a closing statement or a signature.

They have a comparatively stricter formatting too. The objective of a memo may be to persuade an individual to take action or begin an initiative or policy.

The writing style of a memo is professional. 

Email is an online method of communicating important messages for professional and personal purposes. The key elements of an email are subject line, recipient, message, content, signature, and attachments.

Email is a fast and inexpensive means of communicating crucial information. The content should not include sentences longer than one screen.

Avoid any block formatting. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMemoEmail
Components A memo does not include a CC 9 Carbon Copy) or Bcc.An email includes a CC and Bcc. 
Nature of Writing A memo is more crisp and precise than an email. An email begins with a greeting or friendly remarks. 
Features A memo uses columns and headings to underscore important information. An email may include bullet points to enhance readability. 
Signature A memo eliminates the use of a signature. An email ends with a signature. 
Closing A memo eliminates a closing. An email always includes a closing.

What is a Memo?

A Memo is a typical message used in professional settings. Such types of messages are brief. Memos are designed in such a manner that they can be easily and quickly understood.

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A memorandum or memo serves several important functions. Memos assist in the decision making process.

They allow a decision maker to make an analytical decision. 

Other purposes of a memo can be making a request, making a suggestion, conveying information, presenting an informal report, informing decisions, proposing a solution to a problem, recommending a document for future, providing an answer to a question, and so on. In addition, memos have a practical application in making brief appeals. 

The key elements of a memo are to, from, date, and subject. It begins with a thesis statement or main point.

Thereafter, it consists of an introductory paragraph which may include background, context, or overview. The introductory paragraph is followed by body paragraphs.

Each body paragraph has one central idea. Lastly, a concluding paragraph restates the message. 

There are several types of memo, including directive, progress, status, trip reports, response, lab reports, field reports, and meeting minutes. A memo has well-defined formatting.

A memo can be issued to announce an upcoming event or a change in any policy. To conclude, a memo serves multi-facet purposes. 

What is an Email?

An Email is a medium of communication via messages between people who use electronic devices. Email is viewed as an online version of conventional mail.

An email is a pivotal element in several communications, including those in business, entertainment, commerce, education, government, and other spheres of daily life. 

An email serves several different purposes. It is used in businesses to enhance success and productivity at work.

Email serves as a method of exchanging information among people living in different geographical areas in a manner that is inexpensive and convenient. Email provides the asynchrony feature that enables each individual to control his schedule independently.

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An email is an inexpensive method of communicating because it is less expensive than sending a mail, or carrying out long distance telephone calls. It serves as a written record of the communication.

It also provides the possibility of auto-processing and improved distribution. It can also be used for personal reasons such as sending messages to friends and family. 

One should never use capital letters in an email. It may be conveyed rudely if one engages in such a practice.

Avoid using abbreviations in an email as the receiver may not be aware of the meaning of the abbreviation. Always make sure the subject line of the email conveys the precise purpose of the message. 


Main Differences Between Memo and Email 

  1. A memo is a form of communication used within an organization. In contrast, an email is more flexible and can be used for personal purposes. 
  2. A memo is the short name for memorandum. In contrast, email is a short form for Electronic name. 
  3. The word memo is derived from the Latin word memorandum meaning it must be remembered. In contrast, the word email is derived from the French word émail.
  4. While a memo can be sent to only one person at a time, an email can be sent to multiple persons at a time. 
  5. A memo is more formal and to the point as compared to an email. 
Difference Between Memo and Email

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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