Update News for January 2020
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
Happy New Year
Term4Sale – Payment Deadline
- January 13, 2020, 12pm EST
The Zip Code “Land Rush” Begins
Don’t Miss The Opportunity!
Do Some Preparation In Advance
Our Current Programming Plans for 2020
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.
We began and incorporated the U.S. company in October 1987. For the first 10 years we operated from just north of Buffalo, NY, a 2 hour drive from the Kitchener, Ontario office. In 1997 our family immigrated to the U.S. and moved the operation from New York state to Kentucky in January 1998.
The software has evolved quite a bit since the days of DOS and monthly updates that were shipped in disk boxes. From time to time a subscriber will mention that they have been with us since the days of diskette boxes and my first question is always: 5 1/4″ or 3 1/2″? We never shipped 8″.
I spent a week of vacation in Savannah, GA in March of 2019 with an old friend who is a professor at a Canadian college. We visited and toured an historic African American church. In the basement they had a history room with mementos of years gone by. Our tour guide, the pastor’s wife, was explaining an original Apple Macintosh computer and talked about the old diskettes that it used (3 1/2″) but apologized that they didn’t have any disks on display. I asked her if she would like some and she said she would like that very much. I told her I had red, black and blue, but given that the color red was used to mark “safe” doors during the days of the underground railroad, that might be the best color. She agreed and I shipped her a red box of 5 red disks. It’s kind of amusing from my perspective but when you think about it, that computer and that disk technology pre-dates many of our younger customers.
Needless to say, over 38 years it’s been a lot of monthly updates and a lot of changes to programs and services that we offer. There have also been a lot of monthly Update News bulletins and a lot of New Year’s best wishes since we first began, which caused me to reflect further.
Personally, while I hit 65 this year, I am committed to working until I die and I hope that isn’t for a little while yet. For those who have discussed it with me, you will know I have no faith in public pensions, government health care or any other government service provided to seniors (I think they will all end up going bankrupt). The best way to ensure a somewhat secure retirement is to keep working and earning a living and I am practicing what I preach. The IRA is emergency savings, and will only be used if disabled. From a spiritual point of view, which is important to me, retirement is never mentioned in the Bible which makes not working a bad idea.
And then there are the next two generations. As many of you know, Jeremiah is my son-in-law and he and my daughter have been married for 17 years. It’s easy to figure that out as they were married on the same date as my wife and I, only 28 years later. Jeremiah has worked for us for over a decade and he and our daughter will continue to need the company to help pay for their children (our grandchildren) for many years to come. Their kids are now about the same ages as when our kids first began working for Compulife, duplicating diskettes and changing labels on disks. In many respects the business is simpler with the internet as the means to ship product, although I was trying to upload a midmonth update this morning and one of our servers was acting up (I don’t trust the internet).
Before I stop reflecting on our history, it is worth noting that Compulife has a total of 6 employees, 2 in Canada and 4 in the U.S. Our programmer and office manager in Canada, Chris and Donna, have over 50 years with the Canadian company; both started working with us before we immigrated to the U.S. in 1997. Jeremiah and I have over 50 years and our wives have another 50 years. Altogether this little software operation has produced paychecks for about 150 years for the current 6 employees.
All that is to say that we have had and continue to have a long term commitment to this business and will continue to work hard at it. If God is willing so are we.
Together we all want to say many thanks to you and to our many subscribers for your continued support and patronage. It goes without saying that we could not do what we do without you. We do not take your business for granted and we remain very committed to delivering a product that is accurate and up-to-date with all the companies and products that we can get our hands on.
We wish you the very best for 2020 and hope that Compulife is a reason that your 2020 is more profitable and more successful than any year before.
The Zip Code “Land Rush” Begins
Don’t Miss The Opportunity!
To keep this fair and equal for all, we have a HARD starting date and time to ensure fairness. Every year someone complains because someone else beat them to a zip code that they wanted.
IMPORTANT: Do not call or email zip code purchase instructions before 12pm EST on January 13th. If you do, your email will be ignored and we may not have time to respond. If you call early to buy zip codes, and get through, 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 as soon after 12 noon as possible. 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 pay for and 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. There are limits to the number you can obtain, and you can call to discuss that if you need to.
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 on January 13th early that morning. You can review available zip codes here at that time:
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 in exchange for it. If you don’t know what zip codes you have email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a list of those zip codes ASAP.
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 the 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:
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.
Once the API is ready to be implemented for the first group of customers, we will require payment of the $300 for the first year of service. Those who have their money in first, will be worked on first. The renewal anniversary for those subscribers will be determined once the quotes on their site are up and running and available to their site visitors. Regardless of volume, the first and second year will be only $300 (it pays to read bulletins). Normal pricing will come into effect for the third year.
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.
- Complete API Introduction
- 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 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.