for October 2019
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
Term4Sale BUMP WEEK - November 4, 2019
Once a year, and ONLY once a year, Compulife subscribers have the opportunity to move their local zip codes into zip codes that are full. Each year bumping week begins on the first Monday in November, at 12 noon Eastern Time.
This year that day is November 4, 2019. You have until the end of business on Friday, November 8th to make your bumps.
How does it work?
Agent Zip codes listings at www.term4sale.com have a maximum of 3 agents. If a zip code has already got 3 agents listed, it is unavailable. For the most part, the best zip codes are usually full with 3 agents and newer customers who have not bumped have to settle for something less than the best in your local area.
NOTE: If you have previously bumped to get into better zip codes, there is no need to bump again. Bumping is something you should do if you have never bumped before.
Every Compulife Windows PC subscriber has the ability to buy at least 3 local zip codes. Standard license subscribers can buy up to 6 local zip codes.
Local zip codes have 2 advantages over normal zip code listings. First, they are cheaper, only $12 per year (the normal price is $18 per year). Second, you can use a local zip code to BUMP people from full listings within 20 miles of your actual location.
You can ONLY bump someone who is not using their local zip code for the listing. We do have a relatively small number of zip codes where all three people in that zip code are locals. If that happens, you can't get into that zip code unless one of those 3 subscribers gives up that zip code. However, if one of the agents listed in that zip code did not use a local zip code then they can be bumped.
For those agents who purchase additional zip codes, over and above their local zip code listings, you can ONLY be bumped by a Compulife subscriber using a local zip code. Unless that happens, then you have the right to keep your zip code listings as long as you continue to pay your renewals. If you do not pay for a renewal then the zip code becomes available to others on a first come, first served basis.
Local Zip Codes Are a No Brainer
As mentioned, local zip codes are sold at only $12 per year each. If are a Windows PC subscriber (Compulife Basic does not allow participation at term4sale) you have a maximum of 3 local zip codes that you can buy (6 if you are a standard license user). Unless you don't sell life insurance at all (like life insurance companies who subscribe to Compulife) it makes no sense to not buy at least the maximum number of local zip codes available. Apart from being only $12 each per year (that's $1 per month, less than the cost of a cup of coffee) local zip codes let you get into the best zip codes within 20 miles of your location. And zip code listings also come with a warranty.
The Zip Code WARRANTY
Compulife's zip code warranty is simple. We guarantee that for every 3 zip codes you have, you will get at least ONE legitimate email contact for that year. If you don't get an email contact then your 3 zip code renew the following year for free. For agents with more than 3 zip codes, renewal cost will be based upon total results and the minimum email contacts you should expect.
EXAMPLE: You have 3 local zip codes, and 22 additional zip codes for a total of 25. 25 divided by 3 is 8 1/3 which we round up to 9. We guarantee that you will get 9 email contacts that year. Let's assume you only get 4. If that happens then you will only pay for 4 X 3 = 12 zip codes for the following year, and you will keep all 25. If the same person had no email contacts that year, then all 25 would renew for free.
NOTE: We only count email contacts for the warranty. If a consumer calls you (your phone number is displayed in listings) we will not know and it is not counted.
It's a Lot Like Monopoly
If you have ever played the game Monopoly then you will know that when you buy properties on the board, luck plays a role in the outcome. If you put your money down on great properties, the only way you can profit is if people land on your property. The same is true at term4sale. We have no control over which zip codes consumers will quote from, and whether they will elect to use the email system to contact the listed subscribers. If you have played Monopoly you know that results tend to run in streaks.
You might have only 3 zip codes and get 5 contacts in a single year. In another year those same 3 zip codes might generate no contacts at all. We can't control or promise results, we can only guarantee that if you have no hits for the 3 in a given year, the following year's listings are free.
Occassionally I like to play tournament poker, as long as the buy-in is $100 or less. If you play texas hold'em you get the same streaks. You can play in one tournament and bust out after 3 hours never having seen a bigger pair than 6's. In another tournament you get dealt a pair of kings, and in the very next hand you are looking at aces. There is no explaining it, other than to say that you can run hot and you can run cold and no one runs hot all the time.
With term4sale zip code listings if you have a bad year, and do not get the results that we guarantee, the warranty makes sure you don't pay as much to keep playing the following year. And in the end we want all our subscribers to win because that benefits you and it benefits Compulife.
Internet Engine Counter Refinements
As so often happens, once we roll out a new feature or function in our software actual use gives us insights and new ideas on how to improve it. Having used the new counters at our websites for the past couple of months, we have not come up with some changes that we spent time making in September. Unfortunately that delayed progress with the API which is the current project we are trying to wrap up.
The new changes to counters are important for internet engine subscribers who re-sell access to the software to agents who then offer quoting on their own websites. It is important for Compulife to know how many users any given Internet Engine subscriber has. We also think that it is important for each Internet Engine subscriber to know how many quotes each of their users is doing on a monthly basis.
An Internet Engine user can re-sell access to their copy of our engine, to other agents, providing those agents are subscribers to Compulife's PC software. That "per unit" cost is lowered by the fact that Internet Engine users can buy Compulife at discsounted prices. The more they buy the bigger those discounts. The challenge is keeping track of the number of users and the new counters do that for both our subscriber and Compulife.
Currently there is no requirement forcing Compulife subscribers to update to the new engine unless the customer wants the new Table Rating quotes provided in the newest engine (that's a FREE upgrade). While the new engine is a plug and play replacement, the user must also do a tiny amount of work to assign a location for counter files to be recorded. The instructions are in the upgrade package.
At some point, in the not too distant future, Compulife will have a mandatory update to the new Internet Engine and all Internet Engine subscribers will need the new engine or they will be unable to run the latest data file updates to the software. That's won't happen until later in 2020 (at the earliest). This will follow the release of the new API option. It will also follow changes to the engine that will use the counters to soften the impact of the degrade function that we created to discourages unauthorized scraping of our database by pirates using robots to run multiple quotes.
Work continues on the API and the only thing interfering are interruptions to address bugs or other issues to the existing software.
That is what the Compulife's new API will be, a json interface. It will be a way for you to connect to our 20 year old Internet Engine, using the more modern json method to send and receive data. Is that better than the older CGI method we already have? We don't think so but it seems to be the way most people want information sent and delivered. Our new API option will accomodate that.
One big difference between our Internet Engine and the API is where the Internet Engine and database is actually located. Currently, subscribers to the Internet Engine place it on their own server(s). In the case of the new API option, the Internet Engine and database will be on Compulife's server and API customers will communicate with it there. That's good news and bad news.
The good news is that because the Internet Engine will be on Compulife's server, we will do all the updating. That is already what we do with the Web Quote option that we offer to our subscriber. By contrast Internet Engine users must place updated data files on their own servers once they get an update with the Windows PC softare. Further, if there is a newer version of the Internet Engine, the Internet Engine customer must also place that program on their server. With the new API if we change the data files or the Internet Engine, we update that to our server and so there will be nothing for the API user to do.
Updating files to their servers is a big issue for some customers. Either they forget to do it or have trouble remembering how to do it. As the person who does all the data files updates for our various servers, it's just part of the routine and takes very little time. By comparison to keeping products and rates updated, putting files on a server is a breeze. Those who want us to do that for them, and still want to control the look, feel and functionality of the quotes on their site, will be able to do so with the API option.
NOTE: If you currently use our web quote option (the $96 per year version) then you already benefit from Compulife doing all that updating work for you.
The bad news with the API is that the Internet Engine is on our server. That means you have no control over what we do with it and you can't know what we are doing with it. With an API, every time you sent a request for a quote we could be recording what you sent us and what we sent back to you.
IMPORTANT: WE DO NOT DO THAT. When I say that you can trust Compulife, that we are not pirating your quoting information, we can back that up with a 37 year reputation of NEVER having done such a thing. By contrast, there are others on the internet offering services and who knows what they are doing?
Consider a similar EXAMPLE: Most Compulife subscribers now pay their Compulife invoices by credit card. Many people who take your credit card information on-line keep a record of your credit card information. Compulife does not do that. No one can steal your credit card info from Compulife because we do not have it, we do not keep any record of it. When you pay your Compulife invoice, you are actually entering the credit card info into our bank's software and website. All we get from the bank is confirmation of the amount that you paid and what invoice you paid.
Our longstanding policy with respect to any quoting information submitted to our quoting software is that it is NOT recorded. There is no history or record of quotes being created. You can trust Compulife.
But TRUST is not an issue if you use the Internet engine on your own server. You run it autonomously on your own server. There is nothing in the software that "phones home" and so you can be absolutely certain we aren't accessing your data, and you can also be certain that the only way that anyone else can access your data is if they steal it from your server. In short, it is the most secure way to use our Internet technology. If security is an issue, Compulife's Internet Engine is the ONLY full proof solution.
Once again, we will maintain the same privacy standards with our API, but you will have to "trust us". With the Internet Engine there is nothing to trust.
Given all that, we still fully expect that some Internet Engine customers will move to the new API option as it will elminate the need to update the software and data files. Further, it could save you money depending on the volume of quotes that you do. Most important, the new API will still allow you to fully customize your user's experience and functionality, just as the Internet Engine option allows you to do now. The big difference is that the engine will be on our server and you will be getting raw output that you then format on your server.
And with respect to web quote customers, because the API costs less than the Internet Engine, and allows full customization, we expect a number of web quote users to upgrade from the $96 product to the API. Pricing will be attractive unless you are doing thousands and thousands of quotes per month. But then if you are doing thousands of quotes per month, pricing won't be that big a deal.
The API service will be volume based. Here's a tentative pricing schedule:
1,200 or less quotes per month - $396 per year (includes Compulife Basic
6,000 or less quotes per month - $780 per year (includes Compulife Personal Use)
30,000 or less quotes per month - $1,200 per year (includes Compulife Standard Use)
All of these prices are less than the current cost of the Internet Engine, which is $1,500 per year (including Compulife Standard Use). The price for the engine will remain the same for customers doing 60,000 or less quotes per month. Any customer doing over 60,000 quotes per month will have the price of the Internet Engine increased to $2,200 per year (in addition to their Standard License of $300).
Some current subscribers to the Internet Engine, who are doing smaller volumes of quotes, will probably want to switch to the new API version of the software because their volume is relatively low and they will save money with the API version of quotes. The API customer will still be able to produce the very same quotes that they are producing now and still be able to fully customize their user interface and quote functions. Instead of delivering pages to the customer's website, the API delivers raw output: company information and premiums. The user takes that data and imbeds it into their web pages and systems.
The other advantage of the API over the Internet Engine is that Compulife will take over the updating of rates and software, which means the user has less maintenance. The downside is that quotes will be coming from our server, and if our server goes down, so do your quotes. Having said that, reliability seems high. We have not had many issues with the web quote option for customers, and so we hope the same is true for the API (I should add that I don't trust the internet).
Those doing over 30,000 quotes per month will need to buy the Internet Engine. First, we don't want their high volume use dragging down our server performance. Second, anyone doing that kind of volume needs to pay for the server that they are running the quoting software from, and depending on volume they can get whatever type of server service they want/need, from shared hosting to stand alone equipment.
Our Current Programming Plans for 2019
The following is the current order for new work that we will be doing in 2019/2020:
Compulife API Web Quote Option
Overhaul Of Current Product Data Files
Introduction of New PC Version: CQS.EXE
Introduction of Compulife Basic Plus (with Pick 12)
Anyone with questions about any of these upcoming projects can call Bob Barney to discuss:
Please don't email me essay questions, just call. If I'm not in, email me your phone number, I'll call you.
These planned objectives will easily consume our programming time during 2019 and into 2020. The good news is that once the product data files have been converted, and we have introduced the new CQS.EXE, and upgraded our internet engine to use the new data files, Compulife will be turning it's full attention to our web based, Compulife Basic software. The long term goal is to have a web based product that does everything our PC based software does.