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Update News for October 2015
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.
As we noted last month, the new data changes went live on www.term4sale.ca on August 27th. The site functioned normally. The new data changes then went live for our Mobile Quote Service and that checked out. When then went live for our Web Quote option customers. We encountered no bugs. We are continuing to use the new version of the data on those servers.
Unfortunately we did encounter a bug with our U.S. version. While the bug does NOT impact the current edition of the U.S. system, it can and will impact updates moving forward, once the bug has been fixed in the Windows desktop software.
The bug has to do with the way products are indexed in the system, and where the program retrieves information in order to display company names. Without going into more detail, U.S. Internet Engine users will need to update their engines to resolve this issue and we decided to HOLD the Canadian upgrade until that bug is first resolved in the U.S. That means Canadian Internet Engine users will NOT have to update twice.
Just to review the process, the monthly update for October, which we released on September 30th, is still relying upon the old data structure. November will also use the new data structure. However, the first midmonth update in November will convert our Canadian subscribers to the new data structure.
The new data structure will not affect subscribers to our Windows software as the new version of the Windows program will be released at the same time as the new data. Subscribers shouldn't notice or see a thing.
The October monthly update, released on September 30th, is still using the old data structure. Due to the delay above, the November monthly update will also use the old data structure. That will be the last time we release the old data version.
IMPORTANT: There will be a new mid-month update in the first week of November or shortly thereafter. The November midmonth update will rely upon the new data format. At the same time as you obtain that mid-month update, and place the new data files on your server, you will need to activate the new engine.
When we say Internet Engine Users, we are referring to those who pay us $960 for the version of Compulife that lets the customer run our comparison software from their own server. This does not affect the vast majority of Compulife subcribers.
Instructions for the new engine were in the package that was emailed to engine users, assuming that they completed the new "Internet Engine License Agreement". If you are an Internet Engine user and have not yet received that email, then you need to contact Compulife ASAP. We have been sending emails to Internet Engine subscribers, including an email requiring that the new "Internet Engine License Agreement" be signed prior to us providing the user with the new engine.
Once again, if an internet engine user attempts to place the November midmonth update onto their server, without the new internet engine, the new data will not work with the old engine. If this happens the thing to do is to go back and get the August monthly update again, and NOT get the midmonth update. Put those files on your server and you can continue to function until you get the new engine.
While our programmer continues to focus on making important infrastructure changes and improvements to our software, Jeremiah has been busy making significant changes and improvements to the U.S. version of the Compulife Mobile Edition. I really like the changes that he is introducing and it's time for you to have a first look.
While I realize that the U.S. version contains U.S. data, the Canadian version will be functionally and aesthetically the same and so that is where we would like you to focus your attention in reviewing the new Mobile Edition. Once the U.S. version is finalized, and rolled out to our American customers, we will apply the same changes for Canada. That will go quite quickly, and the period of time between implementing the changes for cqsmobile.ca, and when we upgrade your personal version of the Mobile Edition, will be very short. In other words, we need the comments of Canadian customers on the U.S. version because that is what your Canadian version is going to look like (although there will be more; please keep reading)
FREE Mobile Version: Each subscriber to Compulife is entitled to a FREE mobile edition of Compulife. This is FREE to subscribers of the Windows desktop software, no one else.
The Compulife Mobile Edition is a version of our quotation software designed to run on a phone, pad, tablet or any other device that does not have a Windows operating system. The Mobile Edition runs from your internet browser via a connection to the internet. If you have such a device, and have not taken advantage of your FREE Mobile Edition, you can request it here:
Even though the upgrade project is only about 50% complete, we are at the point where we would like to get your feedback. You can see a copy of the new Mobile Edition that is still "Under Construction" by going here:
IMPORTANT: www.cqsmobile.com (and cqsmobile.ca for Canada) will be our "test/sample" pages moving forward. www.cqsmobile.com will let us demonstrate the mobile edition for prospective users who want to see what it looks like and how it works.
VERY IMPORTANT: You need a password to first access the Mobile Edition.
The site www.cqsmobile.com is for DEMO use ONLY. After October, and each month thereafter (or whenever we want), we will change that password. This will ensure that people cannot keep using the Demo Mobile Edition for free. If we want someone to have access, we will give them the password.
When a person actually subscribes to Compulife (Windows Desktop Software), including the four free months that we give new subscribers, that subscription includes a FREE Mobile Edition which they can personalize, such as choosing which companies appear in the quotes. That is the version that we want our subscribers to use, not the Demo.
The new Compulife Mobile Edition implements "responsive" screen technology meaning that the web pages dynamically respond, format and size to the amount of space available on the screen. The same software is intended to look and function nicely on a smart phone or on a tablet with a bigger screen. Obviously the smart phone is the toughest environment due to the small nature of the screen. Jeremiah's focus has been making it look good on the phone but because of the space limitations, some of the information does not appear on the phone when viewing a quote in portrait mode (phone held normally up and down). However, if you turn the phone on its side (landscape mode), which allows the display to be wider, you will see that the quote re-formats automatically and adds more information. One field that appears and disappears is the "health class" for the premiums. The health class will not appear on a phone in the portrait mode, but flip the phone on its side and the quote gets wider and that information appears. Responsive technology makes side scrolling unnecessary, documents react to the space available.
For the most part the changes to the Mobile Edition do not introduce new functions with one exception. We have decided to upgrade the Mobile Edition by adding the Health Analyzer. That is the one additional function that we have been asked for the most in the Mobile Edition. You will be getting that as part of this round of improvements.
For Canadian subscribers a second round of improvements is being planned for 2016. We will further upgrade the Canadian Edition to allow agents to do joint life and and Critical Illness quotes. Keep reading for more information about that.
Most consumers of phone and pad/tablet technology base their satisfaction with the software on "look and feel". This means content seems to be a secondary concern. To put it another way, it's about "style over substance". As a person preoccupied with substance, the quality and accuracy of the content, style is just not something that concerns me as much. And truth be told, I'm not much when it comes to creating look and feel. I can look at something and say I like or don't like it, but not sure how to get there to begin with.
By contrast, when it comes to "look and feel" no one at Compulife has a better sense of that than Jeremiah. And Jeremiah has others that he networks with where he can get input when designing the look and feel. Generally he can come up with results that look really good and which are beyond my skill set.
As I have said already, I like what Jeremiah has come up with in this new Mobile Edition but the time has come to hear from you. You are the one who will be using this:
We need to hear what you like and don't like. Please give us a call or send an email:
As you review the Mobile Edition keep in mind the limited screen space on a phone. While it may be true that many angels can dance on the head of a pin, it's hard to see them doing it.
Once we have completed work on the www.cqsmobile.com Demo site, and have it working the way that we like it, we will freeze this round of current development. This is why it is important to get your opinions/comments in early before we update ALL customers with the changes.
IMPORTANT: It will be too late to hear what you don't like about the new Mobile Edition AFTER we update your old version to the new Mobile Edition. That's why it is important to take a look at www.cqsmobile.com NOW, and let us know if there is something you don't like.
Once again, after we finalize the new version, ALL customers will be changed to the new version and the old version will be dead and gone. In truth I can't imagine anyone with a phone or tablet who will miss it versus the look and feel of the new version but some agents did miss our DOS software.
After work is completed on the Compulife Mobile Edition we will then focus on making the www.term4sale.ca comparison pages responsive. The home page of www.term4sale.ca is already responsive. That work was completed earlier in the year. It was the highest priority because google's search engine methodology changed earlier this year and ranks responsive pages more highly than non-responsive pages. Keeping a flow of consumer contacts coming in for our subscribers is a HIGH priority.
Whether the comparison pages are responsive or not is of little consequence to google. The search engine does not see the comparison page template files and so it does not rank a site based upon anything other than the page where the quote request form appears. Therefore, from a search engine point of view, we only care about the home page at www.term4sale.ca, and not the quotes themselves. The same is true for your copy of the web quote option if you have it.
Having said that, it is only natural that the quote pages have the same look and feel to maintain consistency on the site. Further, we want to make it easier for term4sale visitors who are running quotes on their phones. For that reason we are anxious to get the balance of the www.term4sale.ca site updated to the responsive look and feel. But in setting our priorities, we determined that the Mobile Edition would be the logical place to work on templates first, given that the vast majority of those using our Mobile Edition are using it on their phones. And it gives us a way to get subscriber feedback before those changes roll out for consumers. It is also worth noting that after we make one site/page responsive, doing it for other sites goes much more quickly.
Once the Mobile Edition and www.term4sale.ca have been updated we will then direct our attention to the Compulife Web Quote option. The page which you see here:
is virtually the same page that we give any web quote customer when they obtain the web quote option from Compulife. The only difference between the www.termsampler.ca page and the one that we give you, is the account value that we assign. Your account has a control panel which lets you manage things like which companies you quote, and which email address(es) are used for the "Request Application" button, assuming that you use that option on your site.
We encourage agents to place that page on their own site rather than run it from our server. When you place the actual page on your server you can integrate the page in any way that you want. You can also do what we did at www.term4sale.ca, and make the page responsive.
However, we see a potential source of new technical problems once we provide you with a responsive page. We do not know what will happen if we give you a responsive page, and you try to integrate it into another responsive page. We have no way of knowing how those two pages will interact and it could be tantamount to mixing oil and water. Will our responsive code be compatible with your responsive code? That, to put it candidly, is a bit of a mystery. Once we have a responsive page to give you, we'll see what happens. But given our uncertainty about it, we intend to keep the old page and add the new responsive page as an option.
The more important change will be the addition of a new group of responsive template files. Currently there are 8 templates. You can see the template files here:
Just above the client entry box, on the left side of the page, is a drop down list of the current templates. On www.termsample.ca you can select different templates and run quotes to see what they look like. Once the new responsive templates are available they will be added to your account and you will be able to choose one of those instead of what you are currently using.
The templates will not be identical to the new template that Jeremiah is building for the new Mobile Edition of the software but certainly the look and feel will be rooted in that new Mobile Edition. That is yet another reason why you might want to review the direction we are heading by going here:
If you like or don't like what you see we need to hear from you sooner rather than later.
As we already discussed, Compulife is planning to introduce Joint Life and Critical Illness quotes to the Mobile Edition sometime in 2016. The problem in offering that new capability in the Mobile Edition is that there will be those agents who will want those capabilities in the web quote option for their site. That is NOT something that we will be offering in the short run.
One problem is that joint life product changes frequently require changes to the program itself, not simply product and rate changes to our data files. That's not a problem with the Windows desktop software, because we can update the Windows program with the normal data updates that are released monthly and mid-monthly. By sharp contrast, we do NOT ship Internet Engines in our updates. Internet Engines are ONLY shipped to those customers who have purchased the option.
That is not a problem that we have with the Mobile Edition because we are responsible for updating the engines on our own servers which is where you get the Mobile Edition access. That makes it easy for us to update an engine, if an updated engine is needed to deal with a change in a joint life calculation.
Now some will argue that we should be able to add Joint Life and Critical Illness to our webquote option but we won't be doing that either. We can't very well add that to our web quote option, and then NOT provide it to the buyers of our internet engine. But there's another problem which will flow from the increased complexity of the web pages that will be related to the multiple quoting features. In the current single life web quoting option, a single page is all that is necessary to produce a quote. Our plans to add the other quoting features to the mobile editions will involve multiple pages. That will not be a problem with those pages on our server (Mobile Edition) because all those pages will be under our control. By contrast, most subscribers place the web quote client entry page on their server, and integrate it into their site/page. We don't want to add more pages to that process because it will complicate that process and our support costs will rise significantly.
The other problem is the added complexity of joint life and critical illness products in a client facing, self serve quoting platform. What do I mean? I often field calls originating from consumers using our own Term4Sale website. I know the level of ignorance that many consumers have about life insurance.
EXAMPLE: Does buying a 20 year level term plan mean that the consumer is committing themselves to pay the premiums for 20 years. Of course not! 20 years is the commitment (guarantee) that the company is making, NOT the consumer. To an agent that may be obvious but to a consumer who doesn't have the experience or background it can be confusing. Agents often forget what consumers don't know.
Therefore, realizing the level at which many consumers function, we think you need to keep client facing quote systems simple, very very simple. And remember, what's the point of having it? The point is to give your site visitor something interesting to do when they visit the site, and to reinforce to your visitor that you sell life insurance for multiple companies and that your are the person they should buy insurance from. It is a MISTAKE to think that your website can be a life insurance vending machine.
As to the delay in the added features to 2016, and why we are not adding the joint life and critical illness in this current round of changes, it has to with the volume of work this will entail. First, we need to make changes to the engine to permit these different types of quotes, in addition to the single life quotes. Second, we will need to add additional pages and a menu from which you select these different options.
So the bad news is it will take longer. The good news is that we think many of our Canadian customers will appreciate having that enhancements in their Mobile Edition.
We have a NEW referral program that you need to pay particular attention to.
If you introduce a new subscriber to Compulife they will get some FREE STUFF and so will you.
For your referral: FREE Compulife (including web quotes and 3 free postal codes listings) for 6 months (instead of the usual 4).
IMPORTANT: The standing offer of 4 free months is what we offer on our site. If you do not use this referral form to order the trial, then your referral will NOT get 6 free months:
Your REWARD for the referral: A FREE postal code listing at www.term4sale.ca until the end of 2017. That's a $28.00 value ($1.00 X 28). You need to keep reading for more information about why this is more valuable than just $28.00. The sooner you get the referral started, the longer you will have benefit of your additional free postal codes.
How does this work?
First, you must give us the referral using THIS FORM:
Second, your referral must install the 30 day free trial and complete the tutorial. If your referral does not complete the tutorial, you do not get your additional free postal code listing to the end of 2017.
Therefore, it is important for you to make the referral and then follow-up with your referral to make sure that they do the tutorial. Remind them that they get Compulife free for 6 months, which includes 3 free postal code listings at www.term4sale.ca. They also get the webquote option for free for 6 months.
And folks, if the agent won't take the time to spend 10 minutes to learn to use software that will make them money, then they aren't worth our time or bother. That's why we need you to "ride herd" and get them to do that tutorial.
That may sound harsh but we have learned, after many years, that if people don't learn how to use our software (or any software) then they won't use it. And if you don't use Compulife, then you won't realize that it will MAKE YOU MONEY.
And those who use our software, KNOW IT MAKES THEM MONEY.
The ability for you to add FREE postal code listings is VERY important. FREE postal codes (you already have 3 free postal codes with your subscription) are important because they can BUMP paid listings in your local area.
Bumping postal codes is ONLY allowed in the first week of November. If you purchased a postal code listing that listing is secure to the end of that year. However, you may not be able to renew that listing the following year should that listing get bumped by someone who is in the local area of that postal code and who elects to use that postal code as one of their FREE postal codes.
Once again, bumping can only occur in the first week of November and will only take affect at the beginning of the following year. When you bump a paid listing, we do not renew that listing for the person who previously paid for it. When there is more than one paid listing in a postal code, we bump the newer subscribers first. Those who have been with us the longest have seniority.
IMPORTANT: To ensure that Donna isn't overwhelmed with this process, Compulife will not be accepting new postal code purchases during November and December. This will freeze our current postal code listings to the end of December.
During the first week of November we will process the changes as a result of bumping. We will remove bumped postal codes from subscribers paid listings prior to the invoicing of renewals for 2016. Those who ask to have their free listings moved into those other postal codes will have the other postal codes appear in January, not before.
Further, after the first week of January we will remove those listings that were not renewed (paid) and post the new list to the www.term4sale.ca web site. At that point you would be well advised to check the site to see if there are listings that you want, that have now opened up.
That's why the referral program is SO IMPORTANT. If you can ADD free postal codes to your account, which are then paid to the end of 2017, it means that you can use those additional FREE postal codes, in the first week of November, to bump paid listings. And making referrals to Compulife is the ONLY WAY you can add additional FREE postal code listings.
For example, let's say that you refer 10 new agents to Compulife, and they all do the tutorial to get their free subscriptions to the end of 2015. You will receive 10 FREE postal code listings to the end of 2017 (a $300 value). For the balance of 2015 you can only select postal codes that are available. You can check to see what is available here:
IMPORTANT: In the first week of November you can ask to move those 10 FREE postal codes and BUMP 10 paid postal code listings which you would rather have (ONLY in your local area). Those free postal codes will be FREE to the end of 2017.
VERY IMPORTANT: When you come to 2018 you will have the right to keep those postal codes by paying to renew them.
Do you UNDERSTAND the value of this offer?
If it hasn't hit you by this point, try reading it again. If you still don't get it, call me (Bob Barney) at (888) 798-3488.
In becoming a part-time sales person for Compulife, for the next couple of months, it means that you can bank some FREE postal codes for 2015/2016/2017. Those postal codes can then lead to more life insurance sales through www.term4sale.ca.
And this isn't that hard. After all, it doesn't take much of a salesman to give stuff away for FREE.
For a couple of months we have been talking about a couple of VERY interesting Windows 8.1 tablets, one of which was the HP Stream.
Here is the current prices for the 8" version:
Here is the less expensive 7" version:
And then there is this 7" alternative:
And this 8" tablet:
All these run the full Windows version of Compulife and are all INSANELY cheap. We have made changes to make Compulife easier to use on those tablets.
The big difference is the new way to put products into Pick 12. If our software detects a touch screen available, you can touch and hold on a product in the comparison, and then "sweep" your finger or stylus right. The movement of your finger or stylus will first display the Pick 12 Product List. With the list on the screen, click and sweep right again, and the product goes into Pick 12. It works super slick.
NOTE: Some customers have emailed and asked for the free stylus that we are sending to customers who ask for it, get your's by emailing email@example.com and giving us your mailing address.
TIP: I like to move the "Pick 12 Produce List" box, which lets you see the products you have filed, from the bottom right corner of the tablet screen to the top right corner. I then move the "Display Single Product" box from the top right, to below the "Pick 12 Product List". That lets me see the box easier, and I don't block it with my hand as I am filing products. If you don't know how to do that, give us a call.
I am very, very happy with the way this works. It gives subscribers, who have devices like these, the best Compulife software product in a completely mobile and autonomous environment. And with device prices under $100, this is a NO BRAINER.
In that context, I found this article a really interesting read:
While the article's big story is the executive shake-up at Microsoft, the underlying significance is the determination of Microsoft to make Windows 10 an operating system that is used by all devices: computers, tablets, phones, etc. Given that Compulife has focussed on Windows software for over 2 decades, we like what we are hearing and looking forward to what is coming. For now and a very significant period of time to come, Compulife will deliver our best product experience for the Windows operating system.