Let’s take a quick spin around four new mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF)-sponsored Websites and/or Web presences that surfaced in October.
Janus' Proceed With Caution
Janus is promoting a new domain—proceedwithcaution.com that re-directs to its brand domain. This is a shallow, siloed presence with the top-level pages linking to PDFs for advisors to use when working with clients. It’s a targeted campaign with three clear steps:
- Encourage investors to reconsider their allocation to equities
- Introduce Janus’ time segmentation framework
- Present Janus' low volatility products
Most creative on the site is the graphic approach of this 4:39 video, addressed at investors.
Loomis Sayles' New Site
The Contact Us function is what I find noteworthy in a largely straightforward redesign of LoomisSayles.com. The dropdown enables site users to “find a person” in multiple areas. Select Corporate Endowments & Foundations, for example, and you’ll get the full contact information, including email addresses, of two vice presidents.
Publishing names and contact information provides an improved user experience and addresses a common complaint about asset managers’ Websites. Not so long ago it was conventional wisdom not to expose email addresses for fear of compromising corporate data security. But there are workarounds to keep addresses from being harvested and we’re starting to see more email addresses published on sites across the board. If you’re interested in pursuing, talk to your IT team for their ideas.
Building Websites with domains that exactly match the key phrase that the site is about (DurablePortfolios.com is about durable portfolio construction) used to be a way of virtually assuring high search engine rankings.
A recent change to Google’s algorithm has introduced prejudice against exact match domains (EMDs), however. If you’re thinking of going this route, you’ll need to do as Natixis is doing with its Durable Portfolios site and back up the domain claim with copious content. The screenshot below is a PowerMapper view of the first level of the site (click on image to enlarge)—there's a lot there!
ICI-led ETF Education Site
Fourteen ETF firms participated in the industry-led initiative to launch a new site, www.UnderstandETFs.org. The initiative resulted from the ICI’s ETF Committee leadership and, according to an ICI October 18 press release, the site reflects “the industry’s collective view on the answers to the most important questions investors ask before investing in ETFs. It’s hoped that using the common language, which some firms may also incorporate in their own investor communications, should aid investor understanding.”
The centerpiece of the site is the ICI-copyright "Nine Questions Every ETF Investor Should Ask Before Investing," which "can be used in any way, in any medium, royalty-free, except that no changes or modifications may be made to the text of the publication."
Herding 14 ETF (firm) cats can’t be easy but from the perspective of someone who cares both about digital effectiveness and ETF education, I hope there’s more to come. For maximum traction online, I’d like to see this initiative include a little more outreach—a blog? A Twitter account? A YouTube account? Mention on the ETF providers’ sites and blogs?