Difference Between Memo and Letter

Despite being quite similar terms, there is a lot of difference between the memo and letter. People have a lot of misconceptions that they are the same, as both letters and memos perform the same function.


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But it is clear and confirmed now that they are different from each other.

Key Takeaways

  1. A memo (short for memorandum) is an informal written communication used within an organization to convey information, updates, or requests to employees or colleagues.
  2. A letter is a more formal written communication, usually sent to recipients outside or those within the organization when a higher level of formality is required.
  3. The main difference between a memo and a letter is their formality and intended audience, with memos being more informal and used for internal communication and letters being more formal and often used for external communication.

Memo vs Letter

Memo is a short message used for business purposes and in office settings to communicate between parties, usually from one department or one firm to another. Letter is a short or long message that is used to convey information, messages, or explanations between two parties, usually individuals.

Memo vs Letter

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A memo or memorandum is a message people generally use in a business office. The memo is typically valuable for internal business communication. It practically gives answers and information.

It is a long-written message from one department to another department of the firm or company.

A letter is a mode of communication that conveys a written message from one person to another.

It is communication that stores information, and this can be in both forms, formally and informally. A person writes them to give information, convey messages to another person, or report about another person’s situation.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonMemoLetter
MeaningA memo is generally a business message used for business purposes to communicate between one department or one firm to another.A letter is a communication mode whose purpose is to convey messages or information or explain situations from one to another.
LengthyA memo is generally a short message that usually conveys from one person to another.A letter is a short or long message that conveys from one person to another.
Nature of CommunicationA memo is an informal way of communicating with people.It can be done in both a formal and informal way.
InterchangeThe memo is interchanged between colleagues in the organization.The letter is interchanged between the business’s clients, friends, or employees to the organisation’s head management.
RelevantThe memo is to the point as it is a tiny message to communicate.The letter is not that relevant as compared to the memo.
SignatureThe memo does not require a signature at the end of the message.The letter requires a signature at the end of the message.
Writing ContentIt used more technical terms in a message to communicate.It used straightforward terms to communicate.


What is Memo?

A memo or memorandum is valuable written communication for a business or office.

Memo used notes, reports, letters, or binders to communicate with colleagues.

It typically comes in use for internal communication in a firm. The memo is written from one person to all other perspectives, like delivering a message to an audience; it is not one-to-one communication.

A memo can inform the group member about the company event, provide information about the given project to the team, or inform the employee about the company’s action.

Memo’s purpose is to provide information about the event in the company or call for its action.

It follows the format of the transparent header, which indicates who sent the receipt, the titles given by the individual, the date and subject are also present and then the message or information by the individual, the discussion about the topic, and last, the summary.

It typically follows the writing format of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In contrast, all these are present in the memo and provide a clear purpose.

The heading gives the main topic, and then the discussion is done about the topic and lasts the conclusion.

It is generally the announcement that a person speaks on behalf of the organization.

It may contain an announcement, feedback, or a legal document that reflects the organization’s policies or procedures and may mention the employee’s existing or new policy.


What is Letter?

The letter is a written mode of communication that is handwritten or printed on a white sheet. It can be sent through mail or post by letter; it is a one-to-one conversation between the parties.

In today’s time, emails, texts, and other communication methods have become the norm, while letter writing has become old-fashioned. Till now, a formal kind of communication has been done via letters.

At the same time, the critical mode of communication is done through letters, just like a cover letter for a job, a reminder sent from the bank, or an acceptance letter from the college. 

Two main types of letter writing are formal letter writing and informal letter writing. The other letter-writing types are business, official, social, circular, and employment letters.

It occurs in formats and forms, adding notes, letters, and postcards. A letter is commonly written between friends, family, and lovers, known as informal letter writing, and the letter exchange between clients is known as formal letter writing.


Main Differences Between Memo and Letter

  1. Both letters and memos are non-verbal communication modes expressed through writing.
  2. The memo is the informal nature of communication used for internal conversation in business. On the other hand, letters are formal and informal in communication, which helps exchange words with clients or send a message to friends.
  3. A memo written by a person is more in point, as the message is concise, while the letters are longer than the memo.
  4. It is not one-to-one communication, while the letters are one-to-one interpersonal communication as it is private.
  5. No signature is required by writing the memo, while the signature is required by writing a letter.
  6. Memo uses technical terms in writing content, while letter uses simple terms.
Difference Between Memo and Letter

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0893318989002004003
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20189278
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