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Update News for January 2012
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 New Year gives us another chance to say THANK YOU for your business. Compulife has just ended it's best year to date and we are looking at continued and further growth as we enter our 30th year in business. We have not forgotten who makes all that possible - YOU! Thank you for your continued support.
With that in mind we would like to wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year. We resolve to work hard to help make that a reality for you. A former employer in my youth told me that if I took care of my clients, my pocket book would take care of itself. He was right.
Each subscriber to Compulife gets one FREE Home Postal code with their subscription. The FREE Home Postal Code is most IMPORTANT because it can displace paid listings or other FREE listings at www.term4sale.ca.
In addition to the FREE Home Postal Code, most subscribers are then given another one or two FREE postal codes listings. If you have purchased the Personal Use edition you get one additional FREE code and if you purchase the Standard License you get two additional FREE codes.
FREE postal codes can displace paid listings.
To undertand the hierarchy and importance, there are three types of postal code listings:
Example: A FREE postal code(2) can be displaced by a FREE Home Postal Code(1). Suppose that there are 3 people already listed in a particular postal code. Two have FREE Home Postal Code listings, and the other is a FREE Postal Code listing. You decide to select that postal code as your Home Postal Code. Your Home Postal Code will displace the FREE Postal Code. In the same way, FREE postal Codes can displace paid postal code listings.
Background: When a consumer visits www.term4sale.ca, and obtains a list of agents in their postal code, Compulife provides 3 unique agent listing for each request. That means that there is a MAXIMUM of three agents that we allow to be listed in any one particular postal code.
NOTE: If a postal code has less than three agents listed, we search nearby postal codes until we obtain a complete list of the 3 closest agents. Consumers are always given the names of three different agents.
In addition to FREE postal codes, subscribers (not Term4sale - Agent Edition users) can purchase additional postal codes for $1 per month, paid annually to the end of the calendar year. Paid listing are ONLY available in postal codes where 3 agents are not already listed. If 3 are already listed you cannot buy your way into that postal code; it is full.
To determine the "lay of the land" you can use the Postal Code Analyzer. Enter in the postal code that you are interested in and the site will give you a list of postal codes. Each postal code will show how many subscribers are already listed. You will also find additional useful information about the size and prosperity of the postal code.
The point is to emphasize that FREE postal code listings trump paid listings. If you have a FREE Postal Code you can get into a full postal code where at least one of the three listings is only a paid listing. The FREE Postal Code lets you displace one of the paid listings. It is the only way you can get into a full postal code.
So, at the very least, a FREE postal code is worth $12 per year. In addition, it has this important option attached to it, which allows you to use the code where a paid listing may not be available. That makes it much more valuable that $12 per year.
The reason we are reviewing this is that there are now NEW WAYS to add additional FREE Postal Codes to your account.
1. Refer a New Subscriber to Compulife.
Apart from raising prices, something we had not done for years (and have no plans to do), the way for Compulife to grow is to increase the number of subscribers and/or services that they purchase.
Adding new subscribers is the most valuable way for us to grow. Further, and in case you missed it, the overall life agent community is an aging demographic. More and more agents will be retiring and we need new blood just to maintain our existing base.
Now we realize most subscribers don't like to refer other agents due to the competitive advantage which Compulife provides. Most subscribers would like to be the only person using Compulife when competing. Therefore, to induce you to refer new subscribers, we are sweetening the referral compensation/benefit.
If you refer a new subscriber to Compulife, we will give you a FREE postal code listing until the end of 2014. That's a simple monetary value of $36, but because it is a FREE postal code, it has the priority to bump paid listings. Is there a postal code you'd like to be in, but can't get into because it already has three others listed? Here's you chance. Send us a new subscriber, and you're in.
Referrals are easy to make. Go here and fill in the form:
Your referral will receive a 30 Day Free Trial, with instructions on how to get 4 free months. If, at the end of 4 months they purchase Compulife, then you get your FREE Postal Code listing.
So if you would like more FREE Postal Code listings at Compulife, I would get busy ordering 30 Day Free Trials for all your insurance colleagues. 4 months later we can review your referrals and see who or if they bought.
And to encourage you to refer any agent you know, if you give us 5 referrals for 30 day free trials, will give you a free postal code immediately. Of course one of your referrals will have to buy by the end of 4 months to keep that free listing. So, refer 10 agents for trials, and you get 2 Free Postal Codes immediately, and we'll review the referrals at the end of 4 months to see if you keep them or have earned more.
2. Add A Company To Our Forms Library
Our New Years resolution is to significantly grow the number of companies in our forms library. When we say that, we are referring to the U.S. side of our operation, where we have the application, underwriting and service forms of over 20 companies. Our U.S. subscribers really like the convenience of a one stop place to get all the forms that they need to sell a life insurance policy.
Canada is another story. To date we have not yet had even ONE life company provide us with their application forms. You would think the stuff was connected to nuclear weapons. Now we do have the specimen CI policies for several companies, and the reason is that we insist that we have those before we will quote CI products. Given that no two companies cover the exact same conditions with CI, it is important that you have a way to determine precisely what the policy covers.
But application forms have been a sticker and you can help us break that log jam. It's how we got the ball rolling on forms in the U.S. If you will work with us and lobby the companies to get those forms added, and if you are the key individual in getting a particular company added to Compulife's Forms Library, we will give you:
That's 6 times $36 or $216 in value. And remember, because they are FREE postal codes, you can bump people who purchased to get in.
The good news for life companies is that THERE IS NO CHARGE to have forms in the Compulife library. As long as the company provides us access to the forms, so we can add them to our site, a list of forms with descriptions and province approvals, and an ongoing commitment to email us when forms change, then we will add the company at NO CHARGE. None of that is a burden for the company, and it adds a big convenience for their brokers who are also our subscribers. If an agent has a choice between Company A and Company B, but Company B's forms are easier to get, because they are in Compulife, who do you think is going to get the business?
Further, once we have added the company, we are happy to provide the company with our forms retrieval technology for FREE. They are welcome to use it for themselves - FOR FREE.
So this is up to our subscribers. Would you like the enhanced convenience of a one stop for all your application form needs?
3. Term4Sale Lead Exchange
Subscribers who have Compulife's quote system on their web site can now activate a new option called the "Term4Sale Lead Exchange". Once activated, this will send consumers from provinces in which you don't sell, to the www.term4sale.ca web site. Providing the consumer completes the referral form and submits it, the referring subscriber gets a FREE Postal Code Listing to 2014.
We are also offering a FREE postal Code Listing just for activating the new feature. For further details, keep reading. We have left the announcement from December in the remaining part of this bulletin.
During December Jeremiah got caught up with work on a revamped www.term4sale.com web site. The new site/pages are now up and we think they are a significant improvement.
During October we spent some money and hired a third party to evaluate our previous site/pages. In return we got some live feedback from virgin users (consumers not agents) who the company hires to visit sites and record impressions. We think the investment was worth it and we got some great tips. In particular we picked up on some weaknesses with the old format and content and realized we could reorganize the site and pages to be simpler and more obvious.
What do you think? If you would like to give us feedback, email us your comments at:
We will work at converting www.term4sale.ca over to the new look and feel during the first two months of 2012.
Compulife has completed work on the "Term4Sale Lead Exchange". This new function allows you to refer your out-of-province visitors (provinces in which you don't sell) to the www.term4sale.ca website. In return for actual leads generated from the transfer, you will receive free postal code listings at www.term4sale.ca, increasing your chances of sales from that site in place you do sell.
In the spirit of gift giving, and as an incentive to turn on the feature, we will give you a free postal code to the end of 2014, for just turning on the new Lead Exchange function. So if you haven't done so, it makes sense to do it now. And if you already have, you need to claim your additional free postal code.
Once again, to get this free additional postal code all you have to do is go to the control panel for your web quotes and activate the Term4Sale Lead Exchange option. Next, check off each province in which you sell life insurance. Each province you check off will quote from your site, and each province you do not check off will send your visitor to www.term4sale.ca.
Once you have activated the lead exchange, send us a link to your control panel, and we'll verify that it's on. If it's on, then you will get a free postal code listing to the end of 2014. Remember, free postal code listings are more important than paid postal code listings. If you don't know why, you need to keep reading.
And here's another incentive (gift) to get you going on this. For a limited time (we haven't decided how long yet), each qualified referral to term4sale will give you a FREE postal code, until 2014. Normally you get a free postal code for 12 to 23 months, but we are adding a bonus of another 12 months. That means your referral will be worth $24 to $36.
So, two potential gifts! A free postal code for just activating the feature for at least one province, and an extended period of free listings for each qualified referral generated by your site to www.term4sale.ca.
During November we sent out invoices for paid postal code listings. If the postal codes are not paid by January 13th, your paid listings will lapse and become available to other subscribers.
With that in mind, subscribers wanting to get into postal codes that were previously full need to check the Postal Code Analyzer during the week of January 16th to see if lapsed listings permit them to buy postal codes they could not previously get. In that regard we will send all subscribers an email during the following week, once the newest listings (with the deletions) have been posted.
Two things of importance regarding the invoices for term4sale listings:
First, prices have not changed. Postal code listings remain at $12 per year. We had hoped to raise the prices for 2012 for those postal codes which have produced the most contacts. Unfortunately we do not feel the volume of contacts has reached a level where we can warrant any price increase.
Second, if you did not receive ANY contact as a result of postal code listings at www.term4sale.ca, you can apply to have your 2012 invoice cut in half. To qualify you have to read this and contact us. If you contact us we will check the Term4Sale request history, to see if you received any emails as a result of your listings. If you received NO email requests, your invoice will be cut in half, no matter how many postal codes you are renewing.
IMPORTANT: This is the only place you will be told about this rebate. If you decide, because you did not think you received enough consumer contact, to not renew your paid listings, or to reduce the number, we will not tell you that there is the potential to cut your invoice in half. You will only learn of it by reading this bulletin.
And remember, if you reduce or cancel your paid postal codes listings, it increases the number of potential contacts that other subscribers will receive. Ultimately our goal is that every Compulife subscriber receives business as a result of their subscription to Compulife which includes FREE listings to www.term4sale.ca. Primarily this is a value added benefit intended to reward all our customers.
We have now introduced the new referral program that works in conjunction with Compulife's own www.term4sale.ca web site.
You can read the complete details for the new program here:
If you would like to see what it looks like, you can go here:
Once you are on the sample quote page, go to the quote box in the bottom left hand corner, and select the province of Saskatchewan and click the "Compare Now" button to run a quote. When you click the compare now button you will be asked to enter the postal code that you are looking at. For this example, enter the postal code: S7S
You will now see the referral page. If the consumer fills in that page, and submits it for the agent contact and to do a quote, an email is sent to the 3 agents who are listed. Another email is sent to the referring agent and the referring agent/site will be alerted that they have received a free postal code listing at www.term4sale.ca.
Once again, you can read all about this at:
In summary, you get to offload leads for the province in which you don't sell, in exchange for more FREE postal code listings at Term4Sale, for the provinces in which you do sell. Help us help other subscriber help you.
REMINDER: FREE postal codes are worth more than postal codes that you buy. You can read more about that here:
Our newest idea and next project to promote www.term4sale.ca will be introduced in early 2012. It will be called the "Term4Sale - Professional Referral Program".
This new referral program will allow financial professionals, who do NOT sell life insurance, the opportunity to refer their website visitors to www.term4sale.ca. In return we will pay a $20 referral fee.
The financial professionals who sign up will be given a client entry box, not unlike the one provided to our subscribers. This one will have the Term4Sale logo on top, and will require that the consumer enter their name, phone number and email address in order to do the quote. It will also explain that their quote request information will be sent to 3 Compulife subscribers who will contact them in order to compete for their business.
You can get a glimpse of what the box will look like by visiting the new home page for Term4Sale (U.S.), which you can see by clicking here.
We have redesigned the U.S. web site to ensure that term quotes are the more obvious primary function of the site. We would be happy to receive any comments about the new look that we are giving to www.term4sale.com (U.S.), and the new programs we are implementing to promote the site. Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During September the counter on term4sale.com hit the 2 million mark and continues to climb. By the end of 2012 there were 70,000 more visits.
By the end of 2012 the counter at term4sale.ca went past 475,000. Actually, when you consider the population difference of the U.S. versus Canada, the Canadian site has much better market penetration.
Also during December we continued with Google, Bing and Yahoo adword campaigns to promote the new site:
As of the writing of this bulletin, and since we began in late July, Google has run the following ad:
a total of 6,915,880 times. The total number of clicks to the ad was 8,472 (not clicks to www.term4sale.com; but we suspect a number went on to term4sale. At some point we will build in a counter mechanism to get the numbers for that.
Cost per click were climbing, but the good news is that the average cost per click has leveled out to about .63 cents, making our total cost for the 8,472 visits $5,355.70.
Bing/Yahoo continues to be a better deal. We have run the same ad at Bing/Yahoo a total of 29,912,145 times. The total number of clicks to the ad was 72,126.
The cost per click for Bing has been much lower. The average cost per click is .08. Total cost of the compaign to date, based upon the average cost of .08 per click, has been $5,664.79.
As we reported before, and given these results, we will continue to run these advertising programs.
Suggestions as to other strategies for driving traffic would be welcome. We have had discussion with SEO [Search Engine Optimization] outfits, but we are being cautioned by others that some SEO strategies can actually hurt a site's rankings, rather than help it. Next year, as we anticipate some of our new product offering work quiets down, we hope to have Jeremiah spend some time learning more about SEO strategies. There is an important SEO conference in Las Vegas each year, and we will try to have Jeremiah attend in 2012.
The following are tips for choosing a good domain name:
Good domain names are short and sweet, easy to spell and remember.
You should avoid domain names with suffixes other than .com. When you say "something something DOT com", people know that that is a web address. By contrast, when you say "something something DOT info" many people will think or ask "DOT info DOT com?" DOT com is much less confusing.
Avoid short forms for words. If you do use a short form, as we do for "Term4Sale" (registered trademark), also register the domain name that is the long form of the short form. For example, if you enter in www.termforsale.com it goes to www.term4sale.com.
Avoid dashes like the plague. In most cases people who have registered domain names with dashes are doing so because the domain name that they really want is being used by someone else. If you use dashes to distinguish your domain name from the name that you really would have liked to have had, then all that will happen is most of your customers will end up at the other web site; not good.
Your domain name is important. Once you build up traffic and recognition for a domain name it is a bad idea to change it, even if you suddenly realize the old one was not a good one.
With those basic principles in mind, Compulife has spent time searching for available short domain names and we have been buying up recently abandoned domain names that we think are good. A number of the domain names that we have registered are for sale.
To get a list of current domain names for sale click this link:
The prices listed are a one time fee to Compulife which currently owns the domain names (except for those otherwise listed, which are for sale by third parties; compare prices!). The price includes the balance of the current one year registration of the domain name. Typical renewal costs are $12 per year for .com domain names.
Once you have a domain name then we can set a quoting site up for you. You can get your hosting at GoDaddy or other low cost IP's for about $60 per year. Once you setup your web site account, we can put your quoting page on your site at no charge.
The annual cost of the Compulife quote service for your web site is only $99 per year. The good news is that you can get the first 4 months for free by applying here:
To date we have about 400 of these out there and the numbers are growing. Remember, the first 4 months are FREE.
Call us and we will be happy to discuss it further.
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 determined 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.
To summarize, the current Compulife program is called "GOWIN.EXE". The new program, when it is ready for you to use, will be called "CQS.EXE". The objective is to have CQS.EXE do exactly what GOWIN.EXE does, and only after that has been thoroughly test, and we are certain we can maintain the new data structure directly, without the need for data conversion, will we move over to the new system. Until that happens, you will have both programs in your system. This is no different a transition strategy than when we took our DOS software to Windows. Those who have been subscribers for years, will remember that transition and how relatively smooth it was.
The point of sharing this with you is that the process will be quite lengthy and so from this spring throughout most of 2011, 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.