Here is a quick run-down on the upcoming changes:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin. We would encourage you to read on.
Effective August 25th Compulife's new office address will be:
We have already taken possession of the new office space. During August and September we will be completing the move to the new address. Therefore, feel free to start using the new address immediately. If you don't, we still have time to notify those who failed to see this first notice.
We are actually dividing the old office into two new, smaller offices. Here is how it will work:
Compulife president Bob Barney (that's me) will be moving my personal office to our home in Wilmore (about 15 minutes from the new office in Nicholasville). You may recall that in April I told you about my son's wedding in South Africa. You may also recall that Jeremiah, who does our technical support, is my son-in-law which means he is my daughter's husband. That means that 2 of our 4 children are now married and have left the nest. Needless to say, this has liberated some rooms in the house. One of the main floor rooms, which we once used as a bedroom for our oldest son, was originally designed by the builder of the house to be used as an office. That room will now return to its original purpose and is being transformed into my personal office.
The new office at 136 Imperial Way is much more convenient for our staff. The office is 5 minutes from Jeremiah's home and it will cut 10 minutes off Diane's drive to work. The office at 136 Imperial Way will be considered the main office and will be where Jeremiah, Diane and Pat are located.
Phone numbers will be unchanged. What we have done that will be different is add a new toll free number which connects directly to my office at home (Bob Barney). If you call the office and need to speak specifically to me, the staff will give you the new toll free number which you can then call. Incidentally, the second toll free number will be VERY easy to remember once you learn what the difference between our main number and that number is.
NOTE: If you call my personal toll free number after 6pm EDT, even though the phone is in my home, it will not likely be answered. You can expect to get the voice mail where you can leave a message.
What is a PDA? PDA stand for "Personal Digital Assistant". For a number of years that has meant a device which could act as your electronic daytimer, telephone directory, etc. In more recent times these devices are getting increasingly powerful and a lot cheaper. We think the time has arrived for Compulife to offer software for PDA's.
Needless to say, we are new to the PDA market. We would like to share with you what we think we have learned so far, and invite you to tell us what you think or know.
First, there appears to be two main streams of PDA's:
1. Palm Pilots offered by Palm Inc.
2. HP, Dell, Siemens, etc. (just about everyone else)
who are all running Windows Mobile 2003, second edition.
Based upon our initial research, Palm products appear to be to the PDA market what Apple computers are to the desktop/laptop market. The only PDAs that run the Palm operating system are Palms. The rest appear to use "Windows Mobile 2003, second edition" which is the mobile variation of the Microsoft Windows program.
QUESTION: If you have a PDA, what are you using? What is the make and model? How much memory does it have? Will it accept SD memory sticks?
Send us an e-mail and tell us all about it:
IMPORTANT: You will notice that Compulife does not develop software for Apple computers. If you are using a Palm, don't be shocked if we decide to NOT offer software for the Palm. Therefore, if you are using a Palm, it is absolutely VITAL that you tell us NOW. If it turns out that there are a large number of existing subscribers using Palms, then we may look into offering both Palm AND Windows Mobile software. If we do not hear from many subscribers about the Palm PDA, consider that option a dead duck.
we think you might. These devices are getting dirt cheap and we are reasonably certain that we can develop a PDA version of Compulife which you will be able to use on some of the older, cheaper PDAs that can be purchased for around $100 (used units as per ebay sales).
Imagine, if you will, the entire Compulife program on something that is an oversized calculator with a 3 1/2" color screen that you operate with a plastic stylus (pen). Imagine this is in your suit pocket or on a holster on your belt. Imagine that you take it out in front of your client, enter in your client's birthdate, face amount, etc., click a button and get an insurance comparison much as you do now. Now imagine turning that PDA around, showing it to your client where he can see the insurance comparison on screen. You can then tell him what company you like, touch your stylus/pen to that company on screen, and have the product's detail appear (premiums modes, renewals, etc.).
Do you think that would be useful in a sale?
What if you could do all that and it didn't cost you anything other than about $100 to $150 for the hardware?
What if you could do all that if Compulife provided that additional software FREE with your current subscription?
What is that additional software used the same data files that you now receive each month from Compulife, so when you update your PC, you have also received the necessary update for your PDA?
Is there any interest out there?
We long ago learned that as a small, "niche market" software company, that it is important to NOT be on the bleeding edge of technology. While we have from time to time had calls about software for Palms, we could not see the point in engineering software for these devices. There were expensive and limited.
Having now reviewed the new crop of Microsoft Mobile 2003 devices, we are now of the view that the time may have come to move into this market. Given what we have learned, we believe if you don't own a PDA today, you will likely own one in the not too distant future.
The immediate question is, "How many subscribers already own PDAs?"
For those who don't own them, "How many like the sound of what we are
talking about?" Before moving forward we need to hear from you.
Please write and tell us what you think:
I should also point out that many of the newer PDA's, like the those which we are buying and testing for own use, also come with WIFI. This means that these devices can connect to the Internet using hi speed wireless modems. The Windows Mobile 2003 Second edition software, which is on these PDA's, also come with a built in Explorer browser and the Outlook e-mail program. This means that these PDA's devices can be used as either stand alone computers or as devices to get e-mails and surf the web.
Therefore, one of the immediate changes that we plan to make to accommodate these units is to come up with alternate web pages for our term4sale.com web site which will allow consumers to get on-line term quotes formatted for their PDA screens. Look for that to be one of the first changes that we make to accommodate wireless PDAs.
If you get into more money, some of the PDA's include additional capabilities. Some double up as telephones, digital cameras, video players, etc. We suspect the day is coming where you will have a single device that is an oversized phone, which will do just about everything that your computer can do now.
Like we said, if you don't own one now, we think the day is coming
where you will. For that reason we plan to develop software for these
devices. The issue is how quickly we move forward with the project.
That's were you come in. You can help us determine how quickly we need
to move forward by giving us feedback. Don't forget to write us at:
As we told you last month, Compulife has replaced our "Take the $5 Challenge" marketing program with a new program called take the "Dare to Compare" Challenge. The new marketing program is focused on daring agents to try using our software to compare insurance and see what impact the software has on their insurance sales.
In order to give these prospective new users sufficient time to see the impact of our software on their sales, we are offering 30 day trial users the opportunity to extend the 30 day free trial to a FREE 4 month Personal Use subscription.
You can read more about this offer by going to:
Last month we told you that existing subscribers can earn important credit coupons that can be used to pay for Compulife subscription renewals. Concerned with being overrun with these referrals, we walked before we ran. Having had mediocre response to the $5 offer, we have decided to double the referral credit value from $5 to $10.
During July I received a call from one of our oldest subscribers (he's not old; he's just had our system for a very long time). The subscriber complained that a competing General Agent was offering our software to his agents for FREE for FOUR MONTHS. He was ticked off thinking I had given a special deal to one of his competitors, and not to him.
The competitor simply "PAID ATTENTION" to this MAGNIFICENT OPPORTUNITY which has just gotten TWICE AS GOOD. The subscriber who called missed out on just how good a deal this is.
So here it is again, and please read carefully the offer that we are making to new prospective users. MORE IMPORTANT, consider carefully the offer that we are making to you to refer people to get FREE SOFTWARE.
To review, if you refer a prospect to Compulife, and that prospective user completes the "Dare to Compare" challenge, Compulife will give your prospect a FREE 4 month subscription and send you a credit coupon for $10.
IMPORTANT: It doesn't matter if the prospect buys our software. For you to earn $10 they must do the tutorial (10 minutes tops) in order to get the FREE 4 months. Once again, if they do the tutorial, and get the 4 FREE MONTHS of software, you get your $10.
QUESTION: What agent do you know, who sells term insurance, who wouldn't want a FREE 4 month subscription to Compulife? And what agent that you know, who would benefit from that, would not want to hear about that offer from you. NO ONE! So, if you don't tell them about it, and earn for yourself $10, I suspect someone else will.
In order for you to make the referral, send us an e-mail with the referral's name and address. Make sure you provide us with your name and address. Your referral will be sent a 30 day free trial and your e-mail will be placed into a 30 day trial folder. If the prospect gets their challenge completed by the end of 30 days, they will receive a a CD with a 3 month free subscription (in addition to their original 30 day trial). At the time that that the CD is being shipped, we will check to see if the person was referred. If they were, you will get a credit coupon for $10.
Think about it. If you order 20 trials for other agents, and 5 of those trials do the $10 challenge, you will get 5 - $10 coupons which will give you $50 to use as a credit against your next subscription to Compulife. Credit coupons can be submitted with payment of any new subscription. Coupons are not transferable and will be issued in the name of the referring subscribers; meaning they can only be used by those to whom they are issued. (no ebay sales of coupons!)
The only conditions attached to trials is that the person you are referring to Compulife must be a life insurance agent and must not have been a subscriber to Compulife in the past 3 years or have had a trial in the past 3 years. There is NO LIMIT to the number of names that you can provide, or the Credit coupons that we issue to you.
Because trials are shipped by e-mail, there is very little cost to Compulife providing prospects with trials. If you send us a list of 200 agents, and we ship 200 trials, and only 2 or 3 actually use the trial and complete the tutorial to get FREE software - we don't care. For your part, you will still have earned $20 or $30 for the effort.
So let's talk about how hard it is for you to earn $10. You need to e- mail us the name, address and e-mail address of a fellow agent who does not use Compulife. Feel free to send us a list! Feel free to add the trial request to your web site, and automate the e-mail order process.
Make sure you provide us with your name and address, and make sure the subject line has "30 day free trial" or "Dare to Compare" in it.
We will send the 30 day trial to your referral and a copy of the "Dare to Compare" offer for 3 more months of FREE software. If they take the challenge to get the additional 3 months of software, you get a coupon for $10.
Remember, Compulife has promised that if we can substantially increase volume, we will lower the price you pay for our software. We would like to see our personal use subscription cut from $199 to $149, but we can't get there if we can't increase subscriber numbers.
We have also designed and are in the process of developing a new Internet Delivery system for your annual subscription renewals. At this point, once you have paid for your subscription renewal, Compulife ships you a CD which you install on your computer, and which then enables your computer to obtain monthly updates by Internet for the balance of your subscription period.
Some time in the late summer or early fall we will switch over to permitting you to install your subscription renewal from our web site.
Once you have paid for your subscription, as you do now, we will e-mail you a link to a password protected web page. Once you have accessed that web page, you will be able to run a "setup.exe" program right from the Internet. This will be very similar to the program you see when you install the CD but this will be better. Currently, after running the CD, you must get the current monthly update. With the introduction of the new Internet "setup.exe" software, the monthly update will be installed at the same time, making it a one step process instead of two steps.
This password protected way of downloading your subscription and monthly update will be available throughout your subscription. If you purchase a new computer, and need to install, you can go back and do it later.
This is a big advantage because subscribers routinely lose their CDs. If that happened, we would need to ship another CD (more money gone). With this new system, if you accidentally delete the e-mail which contained your password, you will be able to call us and with a single click in our database we will instantly ship you a replacement e-mail.
Needless to say, this new internet subscription renewal delivery system will cut our costs in that we will not have to purchase, prepare and mail CD's. Those cost reductions put us in a position to lower the pricing for software.
We have been making changes to our software that are designed to cut down on the number of calls that we get from new users asking us how to use our software. The process is pretty simple. If we detect a consistent volume of calls about a particular option or feature, we begin to think about how to simplify what the user is doing, in order to make it more obvious how to use the software, and to reduce those support calls.
One of those changes eliminated the client number 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 tabs on the client entry screen, replacing it with "Primary Insured" and "Secondary Insured (for Multilife)" tabs. Why?
First, the multiple client entry was always designed to work in conjunction with a multi-life quotation. This is a quote where you compare the TOTAL cost for multiple policies on multiple people from the same company. In such cases, some companies will waive policy fees or bulk bank rates, and our system is able to take those cost reductions into account when doing a multi-life quote.
It works pretty simple. Put the first person in as the primary insured, the second person as the secondary insured, run a comparison and select the "multi-life" option from the "options" list on the top of the Display Product Comparison window. Cutting the number of tabs from 5 to 2, and labeling them as we now have, made that much more self explanatory.
We got a number of calls from subscribers who have been using client entries 2 through 5 to "store" multiple clients. While that was an interesting use, it really isn't what it was designed for. Needless to say, if that is what you want, there's a better way.
One of the "options" on the Red Master Menu (under options at the top is "Multi User Login". If you click on the option, you will be tossed out of Compulife. When you restart Compulife, you will be asked to "Enter your user ID". If you do not enter anything, and click the OK button, the system will say: "Master is the User ID for System Administration". When you click on OK, MASTER will automatically be entered into the field and you can proceed to run Compulife just as you had before.
IMPORTANT: You must use "MASTER" (or "master"; it is not case sensitive) in order to do system maintenance functions such as updating the software. Any other User ID will turn off certain options such as obtaining monthly or mid-month updates.
When I first sold life insurance in the late 1970's, I did referral work for a Property and Casualty agency which had a simple and yet effective filing system on their first (pretty basic) computer system. Client records were given 5 letter codes which were the first four letters of the client's last name, and the first letter of the client's first name. It was always an easy way to remember the client's code in order to retrieve the client's record from the computer. I recommend that you assign User ID's to clients the same way.
Here is a little exercise to explain what I mean:
Start Compulife and when it asks for a User ID, try entering "BARNB" to represent Bob Barney. The first thing the system will do is say: "Select the Name of the User to Use as a Model" and will give you a list of current Users you have saved in the system. The User ID "MASTER" will be already be highlighted and we recommend that you use that as your model. When you select that, Compulife will appear as it does now. The one difference is that you will notice the title of the Red Menu says "Compulife Quotation System BARNB" indicating that you are in that user's folder.
Go ahead and enter in some client information. My name is Bob Barney and my birthdate is April 2, 1954. I don't smoke and would be consider in "regular" health. Quote $500,000 of insurance. When you have put that in, and tried running a comparison, close the program.
Start Compulife again and this time enter yourself in as the client. Use the first four letters of your last name, and the first initial of your first name. When it asks you to choose a model, use MASTER. When you have tried a couple of quotes on yourself, exit the program.
Now restart Compulife and enter the User ID "BARNB". You will find that my information is still in the system, even though you entered yourself as a new client.
How does it keep the USERS separate?
To find out about USERS files (which are actually folders), go to your desktop and double click on "My Computer". If Compulife is on your C: drive, double click on the C drive. That will display a list of folders on your hard drive. One of those folders should be the "COMPLIFE" folder which contains the Compulife program. Double click on "COMPLIFE". This will produce a list of files in the "COMPLIFE" folder. The first file is actually a folder called "USERS". Double click on the "users" folder. At this point you will see the list of users folders, each having a name corresponding to what you entered.
IMPORTANT: User ID was never designed to be a client database. Therefore, if you want a list of users, or want to delete a user or group of users from the users folder, then you need to use "My Computer" and follow the above instructions to list or delete the folders.
VERY IMPORTANT: This is not designed to be a client database. If you are looking for a true database solution, we would remind you that Compulife and GBS, Inc. have created a very useful interface between their client database and our Quotation System. You can learn more about that by going to gbsinc.com.
However, if you simply want to keep some of your more important clients on file, so you don't have to enter their information into Compulife again, you can use "Multi User Login" to store as many clients as you like.
If you want to turn off the "Multi User Login", simply exit Compulife, start it again and select the User ID "MASTER". Go to "options" on the Red Menu and click on "Multi User Login". You will be tossed out of the program and when you start it again, the User ID will not be requested.
IMPORTANT: The users you entered will still be in the system. Turning off the Multi User Login does nothing more than tell the program to run the "MASTER" user each time you use the program. If you want to retrieve other User IDs, then turn the feature back on.
ALSO IMPORTANT: If you are using Multi User Login, you can have several version of Compulife open at the same time, without having them bump into each other. This is particularly useful for those on networks.
Midmonth update bandwidth has now climbed to about 30 gig per month and so we have added a fourth midmonth update server this month. We now have completely independent Compulife web sites at:
This means if your computer is not able to automatically obtain a midmonth update from one of these four servers, it will switch and try another. Having long ago anticipated this growth problem, we designed our technology to grow by adding multiple parallel servers, rather than becoming increasingly dependent on only a single server. We trust you appreciate the efforts that we are making to ensure that our software is able to obtain updates no matter what interruptions occur in Internet services.
For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our web sites. Our main web site is:
However, we keep thee other completely separate web sites, on three completely different servers, at:
Whatever we update to compulife.com, we are also updating to compulife.ca, compulife.us and compulife.cc. If one web site goes down, for whatever reason, either of the other three are ready to serve you.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we rely on three other web sites to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
We plan to post the September 2005 Internet monthly update to our six monthly update web sites on Wednesday, August 31st.
The disk update will be processed Wednesday, August 31st and the disks will be shipped on that day. You should have the disk update by Friday, September 2nd.
For those receiving updates by disks, you are responsible to return those disks each month. Not returning disks can lead to the termination of your update service. For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
1. Switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet.
Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $100 per year in subscription fees.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our web page www.compulife.com and select the last menu choice "Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc." Under the section "License Agreements" you will need to select and complete a new License Agreement for the type of license you have. After you have printed the new agreement, please read it, especially the part where you agree that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid-month updates". If you haven't done that before, call us and we'll be happy to step you through the procedure. It's easy.
2. Disk Purchase Program
The other way to avoid returning the disks and the disk box each month is to pre-purchase them for $21 per year ($1.75 per month). Once you do that you can keep them for future reference, throw them away or return them for a credit (once each year) when you are invoiced for the following year. $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.