5 mins

Friday Feature: SEOFOMO

How Aleyda Solis built SEOFOMO on the back of referrals & giveaways — for FREE.

Dylan Redekop

How SEOFOMO leveraged a unique & free growth strategy to 27k subscribers.

Today we’re diving into a newsletter that’s scaled newsletter growth and engagement for FREE.

Aleyda Solis is an SEO consultant who's cracked the code on cost-effective, scalable growth for her weekly SEOFOMO newsletter.

SEOFOMO started as a side project that accompanied Aleyda's career as an SEO consultant. Now, as she approaches 30k subscribers, her newsletter earns over $80k per year.

Not too shabby for a side business.

In today's deep dive, you'll learn the two remarkably simple-yet-effective strategies Aleyda employs to grow her subscriber base into the tens of thousands and keep them highly engaged.

You’ll learn how to…

  • Maximize ROI with zero-dollar shoutouts
  • Unlocking incredible ROI with giveaways that cost you nothing

Time to level up your newsletter game—let's get into it.

#1 - Maximizing ROI with zero-dollar shoutouts 

Aleyda Solis proves that giving shoutouts can foster tremendous goodwill, spark engagement, and fuel newsletter growth—all for the grand total of zero dollars.

She’s leveraged shoutouts in a number of ways, including inside her newsletter, on social media, and with her SparkLoop referral program.

🧐 Why it’s awesome

Giving shoutouts is an under-utilized strategy that really works for several reasons…

→ Cost-Effective: This costs a few lines in the newsletter or a few minutes to share in a tweet, making it a more-than-affordable growth tactic.

→ Social Proof: A shoutout serves as both a reward and social proof, encouraging more people to refer others.

→ Network Effects: A shoutout can trigger a ripple effect, as the mentioned parties are likely to share, like, or comment, bringing in new audiences.

→ Community Building: Recognizing your subscribers in your newsletter and on social creates a sense of community, making subscribers feel connected and invested in your success. This is paradoxically hard to pay for yet free to implement.

🙋 How SEOFOMO does it

Aleyda’s leveraged shoutouts in two key ways:

  1. Subscriber shoutouts
  2. Professional shoutouts

Here's how she's doing each.

→ Subscriber shoutouts

Using SparkLoop, Aleyda created a referral program built upon a simple and free reward: subscriber shoutouts.

She made her first reward super attainable:

  • successfully refer 2 new subscribers to SEOFOMO and get a shoutout on Twitter...
  • and for 5 referrals, the referrer is included in the newsletter.
(SEOFOMO's Referral Hub, via SparkLoop)

→ Professional shoutouts

With every edition of her newsletter, Aleyda includes a section titled “SEOs & Digital Marketers To Follow”

First, she includes a list of SEO & digital marketing professionals you should follow with links to their social profiles, channels and/or websites:

The SEOs shoutout section in a recent SEOFOMO edition

Then, she includes each of these professionals’ Twitter handles in a tweet:

Aleyda has been doing this with every edition, every week, for several years. #consistency

✏️Steal this for your newsletter

The ROI for shoutouts makes it a strategy strongly worth considering.

This isn't just a feel-good gimmick.

It can turn your audience into advocates. It mutually benefits your newsletter and the referrer by amplifying your referrers’ and other professionals’ profiles while costing you $0.

Start today:

1. Identify Your Top Referrers: Use SparkLoop to track who your most influential subscribers are. These are the people who are likely to benefit most from a shoutout and are your best candidates for the first round of recognition.

2. Craft the Shoutout: Personalize it. Make it genuine. You're thanking these people for growing your community, so make it count.

3. Link to social or website: If you’re able, link to their social profile or website. This is free traffic for the subscriber and will spur more subscribers to act.

4. Broadcast beyond the inbox: Don't just limit the shoutout to your newsletter. Take it to social media. Tag the people you're shouting out. Most will appreciate it, many will even retweet & share.

5. Make it a Regular Feature: Make the shoutouts a regular part of your newsletter. Create a special segment or banner for it. Subscribers will be more inclined to open & read to see if they’re mentioned.

🎧 Bonus: listen to Aleyda discuss her shoutout strategy in detail in our recent chat with her →​​

#2 - Unlocking incredible ROI with giveaways that cost nothing 

Giveaways can be a quick & simple way to inject life to stagnant growth periods.

But the common misconception is you need to invest in expensive prizes to run a successful giveaway. 🤑

Aleyda figured out a better way.

She’s managed to hit key growth milestones like 5k, 10k, and 20k subscribers thanks to her giveaways—but without actually spending big on prizes.

SEOFOMO giveaways are successful because of the value of the grand prize—not the cost of it.

🙋 How SEOFOMO does it

Aleyda uses SparkLoop’s Giveaways feature to reach subscriber milestones.

They’ve been extremely successful thanks to the incredible value of the giveaway prizes.

But here’s the twist!

Aleyda avoided prizes she’d have to pay for, meaning she’s essentially gaining thousands of subscribers for FREE.


Since establishing SEOFOMO as a reputable source for SEO news and information, more and more SEO tools & businesses have reached out to be featured in SEOFOMO.

Aleyda went back to this well when planning her giveaways.

She pitched these SEO tools & businesses on the idea of being part of her prize bundle. In exchange, they’d get exposure in SEOFOMO every week until the subscriber milestone was reached and the giveaway ended.

In doing so, SEOFOMO’s giveaway grand prizes included thousands of dollars in SEO products and services—all of which cost Aleyda $0.

🧐 Why it’s awesome

Leveraging giveaways with a prize structure like SEOFOMO’s is hugely beneficial:

→ Zero Costs: The magic lies in leveraging sponsorships as both prize and promotion, costing you zero dollars.

→ Mutually Beneficial: Sponsors get exposure, your subscribers get valuable prizes, and you get more subscribers. Everyone wins.

→ Scalable: As your newsletter grows, so does your pool of potential sponsors, making this a strategy that compounds with growth.

✏️ Steal this for your newsletter

Imagine hitting key milestones like 5k, 10k, or even 100k subscribers without actually spending a dime on incentives.

Aleyda has proven it’s more than possible.

Your path to reaching similar heights could be as simple as 1-2-3:

  1. Create a giveaway with SparkLoop
  2. Tap into your network — or reach out to brands in your niche — for a coupon code (discount code, gift card, free item with purchase etc) in return for the exposure in your giveaway.
  3. Hitting the Launch button!

Be sure to promote the giveaway inside—and outside!—of your newsletter, and share & celebrate the winners.

Adding it up…

Aleyda's unique, savvy approach to newsletter growth proves that sometimes the best things in life really are free. By leveraging shoutouts across multiple platforms and strategically sourcing giveaway prizes, she’s built a highly engaged community without spending a dime.

Here are 3 things to do next:

  1. ​​Check out SEOFOMO if you haven’t already →
  2. Listen to Aleyda Solis of SEOFOMO on our Send & Grow podcast →
  3. Give us your take: what newsletter is doing something different and innovative we should feature next? Maybe it's yours... EMAIL US and let me know!

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