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Update News for October 2010
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.
The addition of new services at Compulife, such as on-line quotes for only $99 per year, has led to an increase in the volume of telephone support work. This has also led to an increase in complaints from subscribers who encounter our voice mail system because we are on the phone when they call. The situation is further complicated by the fact that we have two support people in two separate offices at two separate numbers. Jeremiah is at the main office at (800) 798-3488 and Bob is at the second office (at his home) at (888) 798-3488. In the past the voice mail message said to call Bob if Jeremiah was not available but a lot of people simply left a voice message even though Bob, had they called, could have helped them. The problem with voice mail is that checking for messages is time consuming and is only done once other demands, such as answering the phones, quiets down. So if you left a voice mail, chances are there was a significant delay before we got back to you.
So here is the solution and we hope that we can convince our subscribers to participate.
DO NOT LEAVE A VOICE MAIL.
Instead, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us your name and phone number, a short message if you like, and we will call you back. The nice thing about the email is that our computer email software is always running and your message will pop up shortly after you send it. Further, both Bob and Jeremiah get those emails, no matter if we are in the office or on the road. Once the email appears both Bob and Jeremiah will make an attempt to call you back. Once either is successful in reaching you, we forward the email to the other with the word "DONE" to indicate that the call has been resolved.
The other benefit of forcing you to email is that it keeps your message simple and to the point. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have to listen to a rambling phone message about the reason for the call, which may or may not be useful, to then be followed at the end by a name and phone number that could not have been spoken faster by an auctioneer. After rewinding the message about 4 times, we finally get the phone number so we can call back - all consuming vast quantities of time.
Emailing your name and phone number resolves all these issue and is the quickest way for you to get a call back from either Jeremiah or Bob. We hope that you will understand the situation, and help us in this regard.
Last month we told you about a new service/marketing concept that Compulife was proposing to add to our internet quoting sites (the $99 per year versions). We asked that if anyone had objections to please let us know. No objections were received. With that in mind we are moving forward with the addition of that optional service.
Actually one subscriber who has our internet engine wanted to know if they could set up a similar deal with Quinstreet. We referred them on. As we discuss later in this section, if you have our internet engine, and want to strike a separate deal with a company like Quinstreet, you may do so and Compulife expects no revenue from the arrangement.
Work on the Quinstreet project for our $99 online quote customers has been delayed until this month. We forgot that our programmer and his wife were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with a two week trip to Europe during the last two weeks of September. Now that he has returned work can move forward on the project. Here is the run down on how it will work, in case you missed it last month:
Compulife will be offering a new marketing concept that will give subscribers to our online quoting system a way to sell surplus leads generated by their web site. We assume that most will want to use this for states in which they are not currently licensed to sell life insurance, or for states where they do not have an existing arrangement for the handling of surplus leads.
IMPORTANT: This marketing concept will be an OPTION for Compulife subscribers and nothing compels any subscriber to participate.
ALSO Important: This concept will not be implemented at www.term4sale.com.
This will be an optional way for YOUR web site to generate revenue from leads that you obtain as a result of your use of Compulife quotes on your web site, leads that would otherwise not be of any use to you.
As background, QuinStreet is a lead generation company that will pay you for qualified leads automatically generated by your web site - leads which you do not want. They will sell the lead to either a direct carrier, broker, or agency in the specified location. NOTE: QuinStreet only sells leads to high volume corporate buyers.
The company initially approached us about buying leads from www.term4sale.com but we have assured QuinStreet that we did not want to change the term4sale model, which directs consumers to contact life agents who subscribe to Compulife. Therefore, what we are proposing does not involve www.term4sale.com.
NOTE: Read the next article for coming improvements to consumer contacts at www.term4sale.com.
However, during our discussions about www.term4sale.com, we suggested that QuinStreet consider offering our subscribers a program to buy leads from our subscriber websites which sometimes receive application requests for insurance from consumers who are in states where the subscriber is not licensed.
We advised QuinStreet that Compulife can automate this process and make it very easy to activate the option for subscribers who wanted to participate. Quinstreet was keen on the idea.
Let's say that you are currently licensed to sell in CA, NV and AZ. Someone visits your web site which is using the Compulife online quote system, such as appears here:
If the individual selects any of the states that they are licensed in (CA, NV or AZ) the site will work exactly as it does now - NO CHANGE.
Now assume that you decide to enable the QuinStreet option for your site, for all states except CA, NV and AZ. Someone from IL visits your site and fills in the client page. When that visitor clicks the "Compare Now" button, instead of getting a comparison for IL a new QuinStreet page will appear. Compulife will have passed to that page your registered QuinStreet identity and any information that your site has already gathered, such as birth date, sex, etc. The QuinStreet page will ask your visitor for some additional information such as name, phone number, email, etc. Once the user completes and submits the page QuinStreet will then pay you (and Compulife) for that lead.
Quinstreet will pay you a flat $15 per lead which is a percentage of the revenue generated from the lead. Quinstreet will also pay Compulife a small percentage of revenue generated from the lead. This takes into account that Compulife is creating and maintaining the software mechanism that generates these surplus leads from your site.
Therefore, if your site generates 20 leads during the year, you will generate enough money (20 X $15) that it will pay for your subscription to Compulife including the web quote option. C
If the day comes where your site is generating much larger volumes of leads, then you would be well advised to upgrade from our $99 online web quoting option to purchasing the internet quoting engine for your web server which is $995 per year. Once you have the engine itself you would be able to deal directly with QuinStreet or anyone else that you want.
Sometime, later in October, all online quote subscribers will have their administration panels modified to add the QuinStreet option/feature. The option will NOT turn on automatically, it must be activated by you. All subscribers to Compulife's online quote will receive an email advising of the new feature when it is ready.
Once it has been modified your administration panel will have a place to indicate that you want to turn on the QuinStreet option (it will default to NO). If the option is set to NO, then your web site quotes will work just as they do now.
Second, we will supply you with a link that will take you to the Quinstreet website where you will complete an application. You will need to do so to receive monthly checks from Quinstreet for the leads that you generate. After you complete the Quinstreet application you will then receive a link specific to your account from a Quinstreet account rep. You will need to copy and paste that link into a new field in your Compulife administration panel.
Third, you will have a list of states which you will check off, states which you are licensed in. Any states that are not checked will re-direct the visitor to the QuinStreet form when they click the Compare Now button. States you have checked will continue to send application requests to you directly, just as your site does now.
To summarize, the new QuinStreet marketing program will be an OPTION that you can enable on your administration panel. If you do not want the option, you will do nothing. If you enable the option, you will identify which states you are licensed in. For all other states QuinStreet will receive the lead and pay you $15 for the lead. Quinstreet will pay you monthly on net 45 payment terms.
About Quinstreet - Founded in 1999, QuinStreet delivers “customer leads on-demand” to high volume corporate and agency clients across multiple verticals. In February 2010 Quinstreet went public with stock symbol NASDAQ:QNST. To learn more about the company please visit their website at www.quinstreet.com.
Following the work on Quinstreet, we have decided to add/offer a new feature to a list of improvements that we are going to make to our www.term4sale.com web site. The new feature will allow consumers to contact subscribers by email, through the agent listings page at www.term4sale.com.
Currently, if you were to visit www.term4sale.com, enter a zip code and do a quote, the "Find An Agent" button appears numerous times throughout the quote. If you click on that button, a list of 3 agents names appears, with their name, phone number, listing city and the optional "web page" link.
NOTE: Agents who have web sites with links to www.term4sale.com, can have the web page links for free.
With the changes that we are proposing, a new button will be added to the list, and will appear between the name and phone number. The button will be called "Contact" and be listed under the title "email".
If the consumer clicks the contact button next to the agent name, an email form will appear much as it does if you push the "Application Request" that now appears next to individual products in the $99 online quote option. If you do not know what we are referring to, go to:
From that page, enter in client data and click the "Compare Now" button. On the results page, next to each product, is a "Request Application" button. If you click on that, fill it in, we will receive that request because this is our SAMPLE site. Providing that you give us your email address, we will forward back to you the email request that we receive from you. That will let you see what it looks like.
NOTE: When the online quotes are added to your web site, "Request Application" emails do not qo to Compulife, they go to you. That is one of the things you can amend on the control panel for your site. The control panel is set up for you at the same time you obtain the online quoting option.
We are now planning to add that same type of capability to the "Find An Agent" button. Once again, when this new change is completed, the consumer will be given a list of agents and in that list will be a new column between the agent name and phone number. The new column will be titled "Email" and there will be a "Contact" button next to each agent name.
If the consumer clicks on the "Contact" button, an email form will come up and say:
Below that paragraph the form will then ask for the consumer's name, phone number, email address, best time to be contacted and a note should they wish to pass along any information to you. Following that will appear the "Submit Contact Form" button. When the consumer pushes the button an email with the above information will be sent to the agent at the email address specified in the agent's account with Compulife. We will also provide the agent with the information that the client originally entered into the client entry form - birthdate, sex, face amount, insurance category, etc.
NOTE: We realize that that email address that you use for your Compulife subscription may end up being different than the one that you want these requests to go to and so we will offer you the option of specifying a different email for that purpose. Initially, and unless advised differently, we will use the default email for your subscription.
A further change will also be made to the www.term4sale.com results page. Currently, next to each individual product in the display you will see the same "Find Agent" button which does exactly what the "Find Agent" button at the top of the screen does. This button will be replaced with a new button called "Buy Now". "Buy Now" will take the consumer to a new web page which will be a modified version of the agent listing page. It will state, the following:
IMPORTANT: Neither Term4Sale, Inc. or it's parent company Compulife Software, Inc. sell life insurance. Compulife provides life insurance comparison software to thousands of life insurance agents throughout the United States and Canada.
You have expressed an interest in purchasing the following life insurance policy:
NOTE: Not all agents sell for all companies. With that in mind we recommend that you complete the following email form. After you submit the request, an email will be sent to the following 3 Compulife subscribers:
Each of the above subscribers will be invited to contact you if they offer the company/product that you have selected, or if they can advise you of which comparable product(s) they do offer that would be a competitive substitute.
If you prefer to contact agents individually, feel free to call them or use the email contact button next to each agent's name which appears on the above list.
We recommend that you let agents compete for your business, as a way to get the best advice and product suitable for your situation. Completing the following form will alert all three by email. We would also invite you read the important information that follows this Contact Form, which will assist you in picking the right agent/product:
IMPORTANT: The agents listed at this web site are NOT employees of Compulife Software, Inc. - they are subscribers to our life insurance comparison software. While we cannot and do not control their business practices, they have been forewarned to be polite, courteous and helpful in serving you. If you experience any difficulties in dealing with agents listed on this site, we appreciate hearing from you immediately. Please email any comments you have to Compulife President Robert L. (Bob) Barney at email@example.com or you can call Bob at (888) 798-3488.
Following this will be the same information that now follows the list of agents in the "Find Agent" webpage...
The objective of these changes is to make it easier for consumers who use www.term4sale.com to connect with subscribers to Compulife. From time to time we hear from subscribers who are very pleased with the business that they have done as a result of www.term4sale.com. We also hear from time to time from subscribers who are unhappy because they believe that they are not doing enough business from their listing.
We believe the new email/contact functions will result in more contacts for agents. Unlike phone calls, we think there will be less consumer resistance to making a contact by email. Where it may be stressful to pick up the phone and call an agent, it is much easier for the consumer to send their name and phone number and have the agent call them. This way the agent breaks the ice.
Further, you will know that it was your listing at term4sale that produced the contact because the consumer's contact will come by an email generated by www.term4sale.com, whereas a consumer may call you about life insurance and never mention that they got your name from the web site.
Compulife will also be tracking these initial email requests and using the information to determine what volume of calls are being produced by given zip code listings and email lead generated for individual agents by the site.
Earlier in the year we told you of other planned improvements where we would be modifying our zip code search system to create a nearest physical location search instead of a nearest numeric zip code search. We also told you there will be a panel that you can visit where you can see where you are listed, and what other listings are available in that state, and how many agents are listed around you. That work will also be completed at the same time as we are offering the new email contact options.
We had also indicated earlier that we would begin to offer a system of evaluating zip codes based upon zip code populations. That methodology will now be amended. The value of a zip code (for 2012) with will be based upon actual email contacts that are generated by that zip code listing.
Further, by tracking the "contact" hits on zip codes, we will be able to also provide you with that information later in 2011 - as part of the panel that lets you review zip code listing. Of course zip codes producing more hits than average will cost more to renew for 2012.
All of this additional work will be going on at the same time as the email contact changes are being made.
We have completed work for the personalized on-line Mobile software for use on your Smart Phone, wireless PDA or any other device with an internet connection. Work was delayed in August after we realized that not all mobile devices store cookies properly. This means that some older devices may have trouble running the new system. We won't know just how many are affected until we go live. If you have trouble after we go live, you will need to contact us.
Late in September the current mobile web services at:
ceased to function. In their place is a web page that provides an application to obtain the new FREE Mobile Quotation service, providing that you have a qualifying subscription to Compulife.
NOTE: Compulife "Term4Sale Agent Edition" subscribers will not be able to use the new mobile PDA service. They can either use the Palm PDA software we continue to support, or they can use the PDA version of the service found at www.term4sale.com. Click on the "Mobile Version" button graphic at the top of the page or click here: www.term4sale.com/pda This will continue to be a free version of the mobile software, but it only contains term categories. ROP and no lapse UL are not available to "Term4Sale Agent Edition" subscribers.
Some Compulife subscribers have asked if we plan to have a separate "app" for the Iphone. During September Jeremiah responded to one such request, and his email is worth reading:
It’s easy to add a link to a URL to the home screen on the iPhone. When you’re looking at a web page, just hit “+” and select “Add to Home Screen”. You can then go to your home screen and you will see an icon for Compulife.
We have decided to not develop a specific iPhone app for the following reasons:
2. Our mobile version works on android, blackberry, and other mobile devices including the iphone. While you have an iPhone, other agents have different devices. To develop (and support) an app for all available devices is redundant when the browser version works on all.
3. iPhone may be popular now but there is not guarantee that it will be around in 3-5 years. We developed apps for Palm and Windows mobile phones but those are obsolete on newer Palm and Windows mobile devices because both companies changed their operating systems. Our browser version works on the new (and old) operating systems with no problems.
That might be more explanation than you asked for, but we are just trying to keep our end costs to the agent low. To develop and support mutiple apps for all mobile devices would mean we would have to charge for the mobile software, which is free with your subscription to Compulife.
I hope that answers your questions and concerns.
Subscribers to the full Compulife program are entitled to a free subscription to Compulife's On-line Mobile Software. To initiate that free subscription you will be asked to register for the service (it will be free) by completing an application. Once Compulife has received your application you will be sent a link to your site and a link to your control panel. The control panel will allow you to determine which companies are quoting on your site.
Please note, this new service is NOT a public service. If you want a public quoting service that consumers or colleagues can use for free on your web site, then you need to go here:
NOTE: Compulife Website Quotes are FREE for 4 months and $99 per year thereafter, if you elect to renew.
Once again, after your new Mobile Quotation service is set up (this is FREE to qualifying subscribers) you will be sent a link.
The first time you visit the site you will be asked to create a password for your site. That will register your first device. The next time you visit the site with a different device/browser, you will need to enter the password again. Once a device/browser is registered, the site will recognize the device/browser on subsequent visits and you will not need to re-enter the password.
IMPORTANT: The site should support ANY device that has a basic browsing function on the internet and which allows cookies to be stored on the device.
Standard license subscribers (agencies), will be allowed a maximum of 5 device browsers.
Personal Use subscribers to Compulife are allowed a maximum of 3 device/browers.
Term4sale agent edition subscribers will not be able to use the Mobile quotes.
For example, if you are a personal use subscriber you may have an Iphone, a Blackberry and an Ipad. Each of those three devices will be able to use your Mobile Quotation system. Anytime any or either of those devices logs into your account, they will be able to run quotes. If you attempt to add a 4th device, the system will object and not allow access.
If you sell/change/upgrade one of your devices, and cannot access your account with the new device, because you have exceeded your limit of devices, you can contact Compulife and we can reset the account allowing you to start over. The first three device/browsers that log in with passwords will be OK from that point forward.
The initial services available on the site will be the same as on the current universal site. The most obvious improvement will be your ability to use the administration panel to determine which companies your site quotes.
Once we have completed a period of testing, where we are confident that our security measures are working properly, we will then add upgrades to the site. We have two in mind.
The first upgrade will be to add a health analyzer function.
The second upgrade will be to provide a link to the online version of our forms retrieval system. While it is unlikely you would be able to print a form from your Mobile Phone/Device/PDA, you would be able to email the form to another computer (such as your client's computer), and print it from there.
The following email was sent to all current web site quote users in July:
Health Analyzer Now Available For Your Website Quotes
You can now add a health analyzer to your website quotes for an additional fee of $80 per year.
The health analyzer is available in two ways. You can check the two options out at:
The first option is "Mini-Health Analyzer". This version is really targeted at consumer based sites where agents want a little more information about their client. You can see that in operation here:
Mini-health asks 4 additional questions which any consumer should easily know the answers to:
The questions are asked in such a way to ensure that a consumer is not confused by the issues or how they relate to the life insurance that they are applying for.
Answering yes to 2, 3 or 4 will take your client through more detailed questionaires related to their yes answer. If the answer to 2, 3 and 4 are no, the system immediately runs the comparison. Your site visitor is only faced with more complicated questionnaires issues if they apply.
For example, if your client has had blood pressure issues, then they are likely to know what their blood pressure actually is. If they have never been treated for blood pressure problems, they may not recall what their blood pressure is and it is pointless to ask. Mini-health is designed to make it simple for consumers.
As with the "Request Application" button on your current web site quotes, any information gleaned from the client's visit will be incorporated into the email which you receive. If you would like to see a sample of this, you should use the sample site above, fill in the questionnaires, and then click the "Request Application" button. Providing that you have given us your email address, we will forward back to you the email that we receive from the sample site. This will let you see the results.
The second option is the "Full Health Analyzer". This option is directed at agencies who use their web quoting system to provide a service to their agents. You can see it here:
This time the client entry page is no different than what you have now but when the comparison results appear, a "Health Analyzer" button appears in the top right corner of the comparison results page. If the user clicks the option, a much more extensive questionnaire appears, and permits the agent/consumer to specify any issue that may affect the preferred health rates being offered by the life company.
Once again, either option is available for $80 additional per year.
NOTE: The option is not part of the 4 month free subscription offer.
If you want to add the option, simply complete the application form here:
Three months ago we told you about the slate of domain names that we pre-registered, and that we are offering for sale to our subscribers. A number of the best one's have been picked through and purchased.
The new price is
$99 $79 $69 $39 - down $30 from last month. Will we drop the price again? Yes, we suspect that by winter the price for the remaining domain names will drop again. We will probably cut the price dramatically by Christmas and will be practically giving them away. The point is that we will keep dropping prices until our current inventory is sold out.
The problem is that if you wait you may lose a great domain name to someone else. More than one of the sold domain names were requested by another subscriber after they had just been sold to another subscriber who beat the second person to the punch. You snooze, you lose.
And if the latest price cut doesn't suit you, and instead of waiting around for another domain name price drop, feel free to MAKE US AN OFFER on any remaining domain name(s) that you want. If it is a reasonable offer we are likely to take it.
For more information about the domain names that we have for sale, and the web sites that are ready to go, click on:
Once our work on the web engines and Mobile Quotation software is complete, we will be turning our attention to some important maintenance work that is needed to the data entry systems. Those programs have not been updated for quite some time, and some need to be converted to take advantage of the newer programming compilers that we have been using for the Windows software that we already distribute to you. Our goal is to make it easier to program future software, which will ensure that we can roll out changes and improvements more efficiently.
Further, having reviewed where we are heading over the next few years, and the changes that we would like to be able to make in the future, we have decided to stop and do a much more extensive overhaul than simply changing our data entry software. We have determine that we would also like to implement a better data storage structure that will make maintenance easier on both a data entry basis, as well as a programming basis.
To achieve our goals in this regard, we will be spending a fair bit of time reviewing our new data storage needs, and then building conversion software that will convert our existing data files into our new data file structure. Once we have done that, we will then introducing new comparison software that does exactly what it does now, but which derives its results from the new data structure. In other words, you will end up with a new program that does exactly what the old program did/does.
Once this first stage is completed, we will have both old program and old data, with new program and new data. Moving forward we will use the old data entry systems to maintain the old version, then converting old data to the new data forms for general distribution.
The next stage is to create the new data entry systems that talk to the new data format. Once we are satisfied that the new data entry system give us everything that we have now, we will then switch to the new data structure alone. We will only do this once we have thoroughly tested the new software to ensure it gives us no problems in maintaining the date. This may take several months. As far as the part you use, by the time we make that transition, you will have been using the new software for several months.
The point of sharing this with you is that the process will be quite lengthy and so from this spring throughout most of 2010, you will not be seeing many changes and improvements to the software that you use, even though the underlying foundation will be going through a massive change. Once the foundation has been reconstructed, and all the tools to work on the foundation have been built, the program will be in a position to make some substantial moves forward.
Think of it as transplant surgery, where you need to keep the patient alive and well, at the same time as you are swapping out the organs.