As a result of reading this post you will:

  1. Get a model of a good Facebook Messenger competition
  2. Understand what is Net Present Value and why it’s more important than Customer Lifetime Value
  3. Know why Agile Execution is important for your comps.

The Back Story

James Schramko is an internet marketing pioneer who I first started following and buying courses from back in 2010. This was after returning to Australia after GFC took away my 25 year corporate career.

James is a master business, marketing and sales coach who wants qualified leads for his training courses, superfast business programs and SilverCircle mastermind coaching.

Rising above the noise for such a credible voice can be a challenge.
It’s incredible to think that James has over 700 podcast episodes of SuperFast Business not to mention his other long running podcasts like Freedom Ocean with Tim Reid or the Think Act Get podcast with Ezra Firestone.

With many millions of downloads, James would be right to feel that he is giving away a lot of free education. 

A key challenge for James is shortening the gap from “awareness & interest“ to “desire and action”.

The Opportunity

So when I saw that James was posting on LinkedIn about using calculator tools to qualify your audience my ears pricked up. 
James wanted to make a calculator tool to help consultants and freelancers understand their effective hourly rate. 
I knew from first hand experience that Messenger is a great vehicle for this type of tool.
As a freelancing ecommerce manager, over the last few years I’ve made many messenger bots including complex calculator bots.
Pretty much anything calculated in a simple spreadsheet can be made more engaging & personal by guiding people through in small messenger chat steps.
I made a simple bot for James and had it live fast. Nothing exciting here.
But as a result of understanding James’ funnel better it was clear he has the opportunity to increase his net present value significantly by running regular Messenger competitions.

Net Present Value

It’s pretty easy to understand lifetime value of a customer. 
You spend money advertising and marketing and in return they may buy from you for some years. The total amount of money they spend is their lifetime value.

But not all money is worth the same over time.
For example if I loan you $1000 and you pay me back $100 per year for 10 years that isn’t a good deal.Pay me $100 a month for 12 months and I might consider it.Pay me $300 a month for 6 months and you have a deal.
The faster you get the return and the bigger the size of the return the better.

Net Present Value is the current value of the future returns adjusted allowing for time and risk.

Regular Messenger competitions speed up your sales cycle and make higher Net Present Values.

Messenger competitions do this 4 ways.

  1. Higher returns – you can segment and target higher worth clients.
  2. Reduced costs – cost per lead figures are incredibly small.
  3. Faster purchasing – time between lead and repeat purchase is shorter due to higher, more personal engagement, better segmentation and using Messenger to deliver sponsored messaged with 80%+ open rates and 50% click through rates.
  4. Reduced Separation Risk – being engaged with someone who makes you feel good through positive experiences reduces the risk of separation. Think longer term paybacks.

A Good Model For Messenger Competitions

A good messenger competition is like a fishing rod. On the end of the hook is the prize. This is the bait to attract the prospects. (in the Freedom Ocean? – #sorrynotsorry) But instead of one hook there are multiple hooks to increase the chances of future purchase. 

The size of the rod determines how far the competition bait is cast. The reel was a Google sheet collecting details every time someone took action. The fishing rod guides are the questions people answer to set their lead qualification scores.

Jame’s 1st Messenger Competition

Let me explain that in terms of James’ first messenger comp.

The Bait

The prize bundle for James’ comp was a 1:1 coaching session worth $3k, a silver circle hoodie worth $90, a signed copy of his “Work Less Make More” book $25, an entire month of Intensive SuperFast Business coaching valued at $599.

The key point is that the perceived value of the prize has to be high to the intended audience but the cost may not be.The bait was a post in Facebook that hooked up to a “comments to growth” tool. Every time someone commented on the post they were taken to Messenger to have a follow on conversation.

Multiple Hooks

For this competition we had 4 hooks. I don’t mean the copywriting hooks Feel, Average Day, Have, Status and Good V Evil, that Digital Marketer talk about.The 4 actions we wanted people to take were:

  1. Tag A Friend – the idea was to create a viral loop where if people tag a friend they get notified of the competition and so on. This didn’t perform so well and I put this down to James having a very smart audience.

2. Next step was to Follow James on Insta. It was important that this be the Insta account that James sends his regular content down.

3rd step was the “Subscribe to my YouTube Channel”. This is an awesome thing as every time James uploads a video the subscribers get email or in browser notifications.

The last bonus entry was to connect with James on LinkedIn.

The Rod

When it came to promoting the completion out to his audience, James’ team cast the rod. 3 main methods used. 

  1. Including in an email broadcast.
  2. On site promotion by way of a ManyChat pop up growth tool.
  3. Paid advertising – essentially boosting the organic post that had the “comments to growth tool” associated with it.

The Reel

The ability of ManyChat to integrate with Google sheets is really important. In the past I have had to use Zapier or Integromat to connect different actions into Google Sheets. But as ManyChat is natively integrated we can use the functionality to insert data to a spreadsheet every time someone takes an action. 

It went like this.

Every time someone clicked a button I would fire an action to increase by 1, the field holding total entries for the person. “SFB Comp 1”.
I would then add the data to Google sheets in the YouTube Followers column and tag the person in ManyChat as a YouTube Subscriber.
This was really important as when it came to drawing a winner I had to have accounted for all the different ways to enter, and use a RANDBETWEEN formula to draw the winner.
In some competitions there are multiple entries and so you need multiple formulas.

The Fishing Line Guides

James has a series of flows on his website that divide and qualify his site traffic down different lead nurturing or product recommendation paths.
As the competition was operating above the site in the social space it was important to replicate this.
The 2 major segmentation approaches used were:

  • What is your current biggest priority?
  1. Strategy & Direction
  2. Traffic & Sales
  3. Focus & Productivity
  4. Team Building
  • How much profit per annum do you make?
    1. <$10k per annum
    2. $10-500K per annum
    3. >$500k per annum

By knowing this information, creating a specific follow up pathway for each person meant that they received the appropriate next step relevant to them.
It also meant that the sales approach can be tailored & start from a place free of guesses or wrong assumptions.

This means much higher conversion rates are possible than without segmentation.

Big Fish Battles.

So now that you understand the Messenger competition and Net Present Value model, it is important to tell you this was not a set and forget process. 
The 3 major steps of 

  1. Understanding the business goals
  2. Build the competition bot
  3. Active Execution

came alive in the 3rd phase as once launched we knew we had smart big fish on the line.

You see every time someone is presented with a set of options they can either choose a quick response or type their own.

Normally people take the easiest route but James’ audience are smart marketers who like to take things apart and learn from them. They are equal part participants and equal part testers.

Some examples of this testing behaviour are on entry to the bot; we ask to verify they are human. So instead of tapping a yes or no option, a big fish response to this is “ What if I don’t feel human?”. Answers like this forced the questions to be tightened and also play along a bit. Quick responses were changed to “I’m human” or “Maybe not”.

Some testing type customers wanted to press every button and take every action to see what happens. This of course caused conflicting pathways to occur simultaneously. 

I had to streamline and lock down certain options removing skip buttons and reducing timing between being presented with next step.

Of course watching people move through the flow live helps as you can get real time analytics. I saw that a “Get Course Now” button was only getting a 67% CTR so I was able to adjust this on the fly to read “Get Free Course Now”. This had an instant 13.7% lift in conversions.

There were lots of other little tweaks but the lesson is when you have a big fish on the line concentrate and pay attention.

So What About Results?

James has graciously allowed me to share these results. From my experience working with large ecommerce businesses there are better results available if the rod is cast hard into the right pools of fish.  (I’m tired of this analogy now..)
The Messenger Bot comp performance was:

  • 541 entries
  • 93.9% completion rate from FB post comment to bot completion.


  • Messenger +181 subscribers
  • Facebook +23 followers
  • YouTube +110 subscribers
  • LinkedIn + 78 connections
  • Instagram +27 followers
  • Emails + 138 subscribers
  • 111 phone numbers

Lead Generation and Qualification:
Without going into the calculation of the value of each type of lead, there was approximately $55,000 of leads produced.
But as mentioned before, these are qualified leads and the 23 people that earn more than $500k per annum profit may be worth more than the 92 people who earn less than $10K per annum.

What Did The Participants Think?

If you have ever seen Digital Marketers Lifetime Value Optimisation canvas you will know that step 5 is Excite.

This is what all competitions do in some small way. 
They make us think about actually winning the prize and what that would be like. There is some serious sales psychology going on there.
It’s no wonder James received feedback from the big fish testers like:
“Very innovative Messenger campaign James”
“Great Funnel”

But what really sums it all up for me is this feedback.
“The campaign was very native and for people like me who have you on the horizon it makes sense to join you on all platforms, so you didn’t ask us to do anything that pushed us.”

“This seems like a smart idea even without a campaign to do so. I have been lurking for a while but I am going into the coaching this year.”

  • Faster Returns
  • Higher Qualified Leads
  • Less Cost.
  • Higher Net Present Value

What do you think about this approach?

About Anthony Idle

I am a full time eCommerce Manager specialising in the fashion industry who does freelance automation and marketing work as a side hustle.
To get in contact with me please connect with me on LinkedIn. (& receive a special thank you bonus.)


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