Update News for December 2019
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
Merry Christmas 2019
Term4Sale – The One For Three Guarantee
Zip Code Renewals Must Be Paid By
January 11, 2020
January 13, 2020, 12pm EST
The Zip Code “Land Rush” Begins
Don’t Miss The Opportunity!
Limits For Maximum Numbers of Zip Codes
The Starting Time is 12pm EST
NOT A MINUTE EARLIER
Do Some Preparation In Advance
API Progress – Looking for Guinea Pigs
Our Current Programming Plans for 2020
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.
Each December I use Christmas as an opportunity to put a plug in the bulletin for Christianity. Actually, and much more specifically. I am trying to get you to pay attention to Jesus, the Christ of Christmas.
It’s all about Jesus.
The key element of Christmas is the story of the birth of Jesus. Why is that important to Christianity? One reason and one reason only, He was born of a virgin woman and His Father is Almighty God (NOT human). That is a fundamental teaching of the Bible and the Christian religion falls apart if that is not true.
Apart from that, there is nothing particularly significant about the birth of Jesus. By contrast, it is the death and resurrection of Jesus that is central to the entire Christian message. Jesus was born to die, His death provides the way for man to be reconciled to God.
I probably should not have said that much because it may be offensive.
On the subject of “offence” I was quite surprised when I read this in November:
NOTE: Compulife (the company) does not donate to charities. Compulife’s profits are distributed to employees as income and each employee donates to charities personally and decides which charities they want to support.
The article says that Chick-fil-A is no longer donating to the Salvation Army. Personally I like the Salvation Army and I personally like to give them money. In fact this year I will give them more because of what Chick-fil-A has done. I think that the Salvation Army has a solid reputation of helping others regardless of who they are. And in particular they have a reputation for reaching out to veterans. Here’s more about that:
From time to time I am told that religious discussion is NOT appropriate for business. Either you are being told it may offend someone or someone is offended and tells you. Talking about Christianity has become more offensive than just about any other religion (Judaism may still have the lead) and it is certainly more offensive than talking about politics.
Have you ever wondered why talking about Christianity is offensive? Here’s Billy Graham from 1958; I think he explains it quite well:
Best wishes to you and your family during the Christmas holiday.
I am moving this up to the top of the subjects in this bulletin because I suspect this year more subscribers than in year’s past may qualify for discounts based upon the zip code warranty.
During the past year our positions in google searches has dropped steadily and I am not sure why. While we continue to enjoy strong traffic it is moving in the wrong direction and I think it’s a result of google slippage. We have invested time and money to make the site fully “responsive” and more attractive. We continue to see visitors who reach out to agents (we get copies of all email contacts). Much of that comes from those referred to our site from financial advisor articles and sites who have nice things to say about term4sale. Even so, the response volume has also softened and once again I think it is search engine slippage.
I have been VERY reluctant to get involved in SEO because I have heard the horror stories of those who monkey around to get better search engine results, only to have those gains slashed and burned by search engines who later decide that the site was gaming their search system. However, given the search engine slippage we have much less to lose if SEO backfires. We are currently in talks with an SEO specialist with the view of investing some money to see if we can get better results.
Regardless of all that, the warranty is designed to assist those who may have been too adversely impacted.
To summarize, the “Guarantee” (Warranty) is that for every 3 zip code listings that you have, you can expect ONE legitimate email contact through the system per year (we don’t count tests and duplicates). If you didn’t get that one for three contact then those 3 zip codes are free listings for the following year and the warranty will carry over to that following year as if you had paid the full normal fee.
If you think you that is the case for you, do NOT pay your term4sale invoice until the last week of December. In that last week call us and we will review your email contacts with you, and compare that to the number of zip codes that you had in 2019. If you came up short, we will issue the appropriate credit and reduce your invoice. If you pay that reduced amount you will keep ALL the zip codes you were invoiced for in mid-November.
How is the credit calculated (if you qualify)?
EXAMPLE: You have 14 zip codes, three local and 11 that you purchased. For 14 zip codes we expect: 14/3 = 5 contacts (4.67 rounded up). Let’s assume that you had only 3 email contacts (note: we do not count duplicate or BOGUS contacts) On November 15th, we would have invoiced you $198 (11 X $18) for 2018 renewal. However, you really only got the activity we would have expected for 9 total zip codes, which would have been 3 local zip codes, and 6 additionally purchased zip codes. Therefore, we will credit your invoice DOWN to $108 (6 X $18) and give you the same 14 zip codes for 2018. In other words, you will have 5 of those 11 paid zip codes for free.
IMPORTANT: There are NO REFUNDS. What we do is reduce the renewal cost for the SAME zip codes for the following year. After January 13th you can add zip codes (and pay for those) or you can swap your zip codes for other zip codes.
This guarantee is designed to act as a way to retroactively balance out the cost of zip codes listings that have not produced. Sometimes, particularly for those with smaller numbers of zip codes, or with zip codes in poorly populated areas, the results are not as good. We understand that and our warranty is designed to moderate the cost when results are disappointing.
The term4sale zip code list was frozen following “bump week”. Once “bump week” ended on November 8th, 2019, and the renewal invoices for “additional zip codes” had been sent in the middle of November, the zip code list can no longer be changed for 2019. The opportunity to add or change zip codes will not be available until January 13, 2020.
Those who have zip codes will keep those zip codes until that date and no changes will be made until after 12pm EST that day. This gives our customers who have those zip codes time to renew those zip codes (or not).
January 11, 2020
Subscribers who have been sent renewal invoices for term4sale listings must have those zip codes paid by January 10, 2020. Zip codes that are not paid for by that date will be removed from your list of zip codes and they will become available to other subscribers on January 13, 2020 at 12 noon EST.
The idea of leaving it to January 10th is to give those who want to the opportunity to expense the advertising in either the 2019 or 2020 business years. Otherwise, there are no exceptions. If the zip code renewals are unpaid by January 10th then the zip codes will be made available to other subscribers. You can always come back later and buy them if they are still available, although the good one’s usually go quickly once others see that they have become available.
The exception is that you may elect to give up some of your zip codes and reduce your invoice amount. You also have until January 10th to make that decision. You will still be listed in the zip codes that you elect to give up, until January 10th. You paid to be listed until the end of the year, and you will have those listings until the end of the year. That is why the list is frozen. Internally we will remove the codes you delete, but a new list will not be published to the site/server until January 13th.
Give us a call if you have further questions, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Zip Code “Land Rush” Begins
Don’t Miss The Opportunity!
The next important date for subscribers participating at term4sale.com, is January 13, 2020.
Subscribers who purchase additional zip codes from Term4sale, Inc., over and above the LOCAL zip codes purchased as part of a subscription to the Windows PC software, are invoiced for those zip codes on a calendar year basis. Each year a certain number of zip codes, which were previously purchased by subscribers, become available. Here are some of the typical reasons zip codes come back into the market:
- 1. Subscribers die
- 2. Subscribers retire
- 3. Subscribers quit the business
- 4. Subscribers stop subscribing
- 5. Subscribers cut back on the zip codes they are buying
The invoices for additional zip codes were sent mid-November. Subscribers have until Friday, January 11, 2020 to pay those renewals. If the renewal is not paid on or before that date, the un-paid zip codes are taken out of the new zip code listing list which is then published the morning of January 13, 2020.
The maximum number of zip codes a personal use licensee can purchase 75.
Standard License subscribers, those paying $300 per year for the Windows PC software, have two ways to go over 75 zip codes. First, they can buy additional zip codes at $2 each per month ($24 per year) and their new absolute maximum is 300. Second, you are allowed to buy additional standard “sub-licenses”, and each sub-license ($210 each per year) will give you up to 75 additional zip codes at $1.50 per month ($18 per calendar year).
It is important to note that each standard license allows you to buy 6 local zip codes, not the maximum of 3 which you get with a personal use license. 6 local zip codes and 75 additional zip codes make a total of 81 per standard license, before you hit the $24 level. The 300 limit still applies, so a standard license plus 3 sub-licenses means 300 is the maximum you can have (plus 4 X 6 local zip codes for an absolute maximum total of 324), in terms of buying zip codes.
NOT A MINUTE EARLIER
Every year someone complains because someone else beats them to a zip code that they wanted. To keep this fair and equal for all, we have a HARD starting date and time to ensure fairness.
IMPORTANT: Do not call or email zip code purchase instructions before 12pm EST on January 13th. If you do, your email will be ignored. If you call early you will be told to call later.
Because the phone lines will likely be busy that day, it is BEST to do your homework in advance and email your instructions for new purchases or changes. If you have questions, then call or email us the week before.
NOTE: You have two basic options for acquiring new zip codes. You can either ADD zip codes to your current list, or you can trade/exchange zip codes that you already have, for zip codes that you think are better.
Available zip codes (ANY Zip Code with less than 3 agents listed) will be available on a first come, first serve basis. The new list will be published here on January 13th early that morning:
Any additional zip code purchased on January 13th, must be paid for immediately. The cost of the zip code will be 11 X the monthly fee ($1.50 for the first 80, $2 for zip codes over 80; standard licenses only). Once your new zip codes are added, the remainder of the month of January is free.
If you are switching zip codes for better zip codes we will need specific instructions. Tell us what zip code that you want to add, and which zip code that you are giving up. If you don’t know what zip codes you have, email and ask for a list of those zip codes ASAP.
Once again, you can research zip codes at:
If I was you, I would print a list of zip codes in the areas that you are interested in, IN ADVANCE of the 13th.
IMPORTANT TIP: You can use the column titles to sort the list of zip codes.
Typically, when I am assisting subscribers in finding great zip codes, I will sort by the 4th column: “Zip Code Income (Millions)”. The number in that column is a result of multiplying column 5 times column 6 (Number of Households times Income Per Household). You will need to click that column heading twice. The first time you click, it sorts from smallest number to the largest. The second time you click it sorts from largest to smallest.
TIP: In densely populated, urban areas, increase the “Number of Listed Zip Codes” from the default number of 100. This will enlarge the area of the state that you are looking at.
Once you have the list that you want, print that list. I would then highlight the zip codes that you would really like to get. Once again, make sure that list is done in advance of the 13th.
On the morning of the 13th you will want to replicate the list again, doing the same search and sort. Check your old list with the new list to see if zip codes that previously had 3 subscribers Listed, now have 2 or less. If that happens, and it’s one of the zip codes that you want, fire off your email at 12pm to:
TIP: Don’t wait too long after finding zip codes that you want. You can send multiple emails. Remember, first come first served. I promise you, if you wait too long, some zip codes that you want will be gone by the time you ask for them.
Make sure that we have your name and phone number in the email. Once we get to you in time order, we will call you and ask for your credit card information.
IMPORTANT: Compulife keeps no credit card records for subscribers. If we don’t have your credit card number, they can’t be stolen from us. Every purchase by credit card, requires the credit card again.
Our new API is now producing quotes. Chris has some auxiliary functions to complete, then Jeremiah and Chris will be putting together some examples for subscribers, to show how they can connect with the API to get back results which can then be displayed on the subscriber’s website and to modify as they wish.
We have decided the first customer for the new API will be term4sale.com. We will convert that site to using the API instead of the engine directly. That should help us shake out any issues that we have.
After term4sale, the best way to engineer the sample templates to assist customers with the formatting they will want to do, is to actually work with some prospective customers to help them get set up. Therefore, to incentivize those who want to try the API, we are prepared to offer the API to any existing Compulife subscribers for the price of $300 per year, for the first 2 years, without regard to their volume.
$300 is the annual price we have set (in addition to the annual subscription to Compulife) for a subscriber who is doing 1,200 or less quotes per month. So during your first 2 years, even if you EXCEED that limit, you will continue to pay $300 for the API option if you are one of the first 12 to sign up.
This offer is available to the first 12 customers who sign up and pay for the option. If we don’t have 12 sign ups by the end of January 2020, then January 31st is the secondary deadline.
Further, the $300 will NOT apply until you have completed the job of getting this up and running on your website. So if your site is not running until March 2020, your $300 kicks in then and you are paid for the year to March 2021, with the ability to get a second year at that point for the same $300 (regardless of volume). It’s a great deal, you should jump on it if you want customized quotes versus the web quote option.
Further, while it is NOT Compulife’s job to help you design and modify your quote pages, we expect and will provide much more assistance to help you get your application up and running. The purpose is to fine tune the example pages we provide so that future users have an easier time implementing our API on their quoting platforms. Essentially the first 12 will be our Guinea Pigs.
So the only question is, who read this far and who are among the first 12 to be Guinea Pigs for Compulife’s new API?
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.
The following is the current order for new work that we will be doing in 2019/2020:
- 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.