Not everyone has them, and not everyone needs them. Some use index sized cards, some just use business cards. Everyone is different, and I can tell you why I use Sell Sheets for everything, but I might be doing it wrong.
Purpose & Usage
I use sell sheets as something to give enough detail to want people to remember my product and get them interested in whatever I have to say to them. I am going to be giving the person I am handing this to my pitch, sometimes. Sometimes people just want to take them for more information, like the index sized marketing materials.
Content on a sell sheet can vary depending on the game and where it is at in development. Here is a list of different content you want to have:
- Art (If you have any, and it is good)
- Hook (This could be art, or a visual description of a mechanic)
- Contact Info
My games art is a real eye catcher and I use that to my advantage. If I didn't have that I would be focusing on some other hook that makes my game unique. Be it a mechanic or derived concept of play. Either way I would show that hook in an easy to consume fashion. Make it visual with little text.
The pitch should be on here so they have something to explain what the game is and why they should care. Again it should leave them wanting more.
This probably is less valuable for the general public, but very important for publishers. I include it because I want my sell sheet to be flexible for either. At the very least a list of the components included, but if you have some really interesting bits I would include images of them.
Gives people a quick list idea of what is going to be involved. You might lose some people here, but intrigue others. Again less important, but if I was looking at a game for the first time, I would want to know this information quickly and easily.
Demographics are the little icons on all the new board game boxes that state things like: number of player, suggested ages, game length, and maybe type of game. Again want everything quick and consumable.
The most important thing on here is your contact info, don't forget it!
A sell sheet is the first thing used to hook people to your game, spend time on it, and play around with different options that might work better for you and your game.
Here is my sell sheet as it exists today. It is a little outdated, but you get the idea.