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Update News for August 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.
We are very close to completion of our personalized on-line Mobile software for use on your Smart Phone, wireless PDA or any other device with an internet connection. As most who own these devices know, Compulife has already been offering a generic system for your use at the following web site:
That service, operating at that address, will cease to function in the next 30 to 60 days. In its place will be a web page that will have an application to obtain the FREE Mobile Quotation service.
Subscribers to the Compulife program will be entitled to a free subscription to Compulife's 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.
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.
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. The first upgrade will be to add a health analyzer function.
In the U.S. the second upgrade will be to provide a link to the online version of our forms retrieval system. While it is unlikely an agent would be able to print a form from their Mobile Phone/Device/PDA, they would be able to email the form to another computer (such as the client's computer), and print it from there.
The feature is of no use to Canadians because, to date, we have had no Canadian life insurance companies provide us with their application forms. This is disappointing given that we have over 20 U.S. companies who participate in our American software.
We would like to emphasize that the forms service is FREE to life companies, they pay us nothing to have their forms in our software. Subscribers like it because it gives them a single place to go to find forms for their companies. I remember how I used to carry a briefcase packed with different life company forms. Today, and agent can get the company forms on-line but must go to a different site for each company.
U.S. companies were initially reluctant to participate until U.S. subscribers put pressure on them to do so. Unfortunately Canadian agents are much more passive and less inclined to lobby life companies. That means we are stuck.
The following email was sent to all current web site quote users in July:
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:
A number of subscribers who have the internet option have expressed a desire to have a web site visitor register themselves before doing quotes. What we mean by this is that they want the visitor to enter their name, phone number and email address before being able to run a quote. Then, when the visitor clicks the compare now button, an email goes to the agent with the information about the web visitor. The default client entry page that we provide does not have this ability but a number of clients have asked for the option.
If you want the consumer to register first, then you will need to take the client entry page that we provide and modify it to add items such as name, email address and phone number. You will then have to set up a function in the software (most use php code) to have that information emailed to you when the visitor clicks the "compare now" button.
A number of agents complain that they don't know how to do that and don't want to hire a third party web programmer to set it up. In response to the demand, Insurance Squared has made a great offer that we would like to like to direct your attention to.
Insurance Squared will modify your page for you, for FREE, in exchange for a link to their web site. Here's a sample of what they have come up with, so that you can give it a try:
Here's what Insurance Squared had to say about this in their recent newsletter:
So - we have a solution. We have created a program you can use on your website, in conjunction with Compulife's $99 online term quote service that adds the 'quote request' functionality. This program captures the information from the quote form and emails it to you then immediately redirects to running Compulife's quotes. It's seamless from your visitor's perspective.
And I'm giving this program away for free! - with one small favor :). For every site that you use this program on I'm asking that you link from your home page to my Canadian life insurance website at www.lifeinsurancecanada.com . For most, linking to a Canadian site will not cause any conflict and will actually make your site look more authoritative to visitors.
You can test the program at http://www.insurancesquared.com/emailquotes.html . If you enter your own email address in the quote form we'll forward you a copy of the 'quote request lead' so you can see what you'll get.
If you'd like to have a copy of this program in exchange for a link to our Canadian life insurance site, please call Glenn at (866) 779-1499. Again, it's free and all I ask is a link to my Canadian site.
NOTE: I have added the bold. U.S. subscribers are likely to have no problem providing a link to the Canadian site. The link may prove problematic for Canadian subscribers.
Alternately, you can hire someone to set up a similar thing for your website.
There are two reasons why Compulife does not offer this option.
First, we do not want our email server bombarded with requirements to send emails everytime someone runs a quote with your system. We don't mind that information being processed through our server, when your visitor use the "Request Application" button, but that will be a much smaller percentage of your total visitors.
Second, we think the requirement to put in personal information like name, phone number and email address is a bad strategy. We believe that this will discourage people from running quotes from your site, and it will cause many visitors to either close the browser or hit the back button.
The rub for agents is that they don't like the idea that someone comes to their site, gets a free quote, and then doesn't buy insurance from them. Worse, they really don't like the idea someone visited their site, got useful information, and then turned around and bought the insurance from someone else.
Welcome to the retail world.
Have you ever wondered why stores have store front window displays? Aren't they worried that someone might go by the window, see something that they really like, then go to another store and buy it?
So why those store window displays? It's to let people who do walk by the store see what the store has to offer, and at what prices. Why? Because some of those people who walk by, will see something that they like then come on in and buy it from the store. And some of those people may not have even been thinking about that item until they walked by that window.
Your web site is no different than a retail window.
And Compulife knows how you feel. Our own public web site term4sale.com gets about 1,000 visitors per day during the week. Visits on the weekend drop off. Why? Because most of the visitors during the week are agents and others in the industry getting a free ride doing free quotes. They use those quotes to make sale and we generate no revenue for the software used to get the quote.
Does it make us mad when these agents benefit from our hard work without paying? It doesn't make us happy but a certain number of those agents eventually do buy, once they get hooked on doing multi-company quote/comparisons, and realize it would be nice if they had more capability.
Here's an example of how that works. During June we put the new engine on our server and it had a bug with multiple category comparisons. An agent called me to ask what was wrong. He told me that he uses the site all the time to do quotes. I asked if he subscribed to the PC version. He did not. (I sent him a trial).
But there is another benefit from all those visitors. They add to our site traffic, you know, the number of people who visit the site. When search engines consider the importance of a site one of the things they count as important is traffic to the site. If you do google searches of the terms "term insurance" or "life insurance comparisons", you will find term4sale.com ranking very high. Why, because we have traffic. And if you want your site to rank, you need traffic too.
So, if you use our approach, the number of people you will get names for will be much less, but they will be the people who really want life insurance because they pushed the "Request Application" button.
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.