Targeted Musings on Financial Marketing

What’s in a fact sheet? Enhance, design, and improve your way to truly impactful fact sheets

10 Sep 2018

Ah, the humble fact sheet: every ETF—newly-launched niche fund and multibillion dollar juggernaut alike—has to have one. Spend a little time browsing ETF fund materials from across the investing landscape and you’ll begin to get a severe case of déjà vu; nothing sticks out, and every investment case seems to look and feel the same. But this doesn’t need to be the case.

Related: ETF Issuers: How To Get Your Ducks In A Row For Launch Day

Color me impressed

If your ETF fact sheets are dour, monochrome affairs, it can be relatively straightforward to spruce them up by introducing a little bit of color. This doesn’t necessarily mean dumping a rainbow assortment of hues onto the page. Ideally, your fact sheets should adhere to your company’s brand guidelines and imagery, whatever those may be. Typically, two or at most three colors can really do wonders for the visual coherence of fund fact sheets.



It sounds self-evident, but it bears repeating: the most important information about an ETF ought to be presented front-and-center, as prominently as possible. Be sure to highlight the key value proposition of your fund—what does it aim to do?—in larger font, right below the title of the document. When it comes to drafting the document text as a whole, avoid merely repeating the impenetrable legalese that can be found in most fund prospectuses. Since fact sheets tend to be very light on text, you’ll only have a few sentences to work with. As such, the goal here is clarity, simplicity, and impact.

Don’t take it for granted that an investor will understand what your graphics mean on their own, either. Be sure to add in short captions where applicable to boost reader comprehension, leaving no opportunity for misunderstandings.

Related: Important Questions for ETF Marketing Success


Beyond the basics

Your fact sheet may be the only fund document a prospective investor looks at before they decide whether to take the plunge with your ETF. Are the top holdings, sector allocations, and a two-to-three sentence overview of the fund really enough for them to make an educated decision? It’s unlikely. This is where so-called “enhanced fact sheets” come in.

While still relatively light on text, enhanced fact sheets add a little bit more “meat” to the “bones” of ordinary fact sheets. They accomplish this by highlighting the main two or three value propositions of the fund—the details that set it apart from its competitors and help explain what makes it so unique. With additional bullet points that help provide nuance and detail, and even a short paragraph or two to really tie everything together (maybe an example of how to use the ETF in a portfolio), enhanced fact sheets can be truly valuable tools for bridging the educational gap with investors who may be taking a look at your ETF for the very first time.


Going the distance

Once you’ve settled on an approach, format, and design that works for one ETF, you’ll want to be sure you duplicate it as closely as possible with your other funds as well. This consistency will help website visitors navigate between different ETFs, because they’ll know where to look for the same critical information.

With attractive, carefully-crafted, and sensibly organized ETF fact sheets, you’ll be well-positioned to attract, educate, and convert new investors to your funds.