David McMurrey, Chairman
Coastal Real-Estate Developers
400 Baywater Blvd.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Dear Mr. McMurrey:
As agreed in our September 21 contract, we are submitting the attached report entitled The Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.
This report examines the problem of CO accumulation in the earth's atmosphere. The climatic changes caused by excessive CO concentrations in the atmosphere, and the implications of these changes, will be discussed. Also discussed are the mechanisms of the greenhouse effect, the sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and some possible remedies to the problem.
I hope you find this report satisfactory.
William R. Waters, President
Environmental Research Associates, Inc.
1212 Trace Dr., Suite 3
Austin, Texas 78741
At some point in time, business people have opened an envelope to find a contract, proposal, bid, or draft of some kind. Holding this lone enclosure, the person is left to wonder how to proceed. A phone call may clarify what needs to be done next, but a memo of transmittal would have alleviated the need for the call entirely. It may help to remember this sense of bemusement if you find yourself in the situation of having to send a document. A simple and straightforward memo of transmittal clarifies your intentions; highlights important information, such as deadlines; and eliminates confusion.
1. Address the memo to the recipient in a professional manner, including a formal salutation, such as “Dear Mr. XX” or “Dear Ms. YY.” Use the recipient’s first name only if you are on a first-name basis with the person and if using the person's last name might seem oddly formal and out of place.
2. Open your memo with a direct statement of why you are writing: “As promised, I am enclosing a bid that includes a scope of work and a list of prices for (explain the project under consideration).”
3. Direct the recipient’s attention to the document’s highlights, important information, or changes that have occurred since your last conversation or correspondence. Be specific because this is your opportunity to use the memo of transmittal to convey information that you don't want the recipient to overlook.
4. Ask the recipient to review the document carefully and to call you with any questions. Include your phone number and the best times to contact you.
5. Instruct the recipient of necessary steps, such as signing the document and returning it to you. Include a date by which you need the document returned, or offer to pick it up yourself, if possible, as an added courtesy.
6. Close the memo by expressing your gratitude for the recipient’s time and for his business. Craft a closing line that communicates a personal touch so that your memo of transmittal doesn’t come across like a cold form letter, which may be off-putting. For example, you might express your wish to meet for dinner soon at the recipient’s favorite restaurant (if genuine and true), or extend your best wishes on an upcoming project or event in the recipient’s life. Strike a balance between being succinct and businesslike but friendly and sincere.
7. Sign off your memo with a formal or semi-closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Sincerely yours,” rather than the more informal “Best regards” or “Best.” Sign your name above your typed title.
- Proofread, edit, and read your memo out loud. It must be free of all errors.
About the Author
With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
Suggest an Article Correction