a4u expo London - pictures taken by Louise Goldstein of Azam Marketing. They show the cruise party and include Sinead and Nadeem in bottom right-hand corner

Wow – I’ve just returned from my first A4U Expo and what a fantastic time I had meeting new and old faces and finding out the latest news and predictions about the future of the online marketing industry.

Matt Wood and his team did themselves proud organising an exciting line up of relevant and informative presentations over a series of two days.

I attended as many sessions as I could from “Real World Affiliate Management Tips” and “10 Ways to get the Most out of your Paid Search Affiliates” to “Lead Generation: The Fastest Segment in Online Advertising” and “Effective Voucher Code Implementation,” but I have to say my favourite by far was “How to Increase Conversions: A New Approach Based on Psychological Methods”.

Dr Karl Blanks, rocket scientist and now conversion rate expert, talks about how a CEO is used on the homepage of a website to lend authority and trust

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Conversion Rate Experts session but I went along hoping it would expand my knowledgebase as an Affiliate Manager and allow me to think outside the box in terms of helping our affiliates and merchants to increase sales and conversion.

And it did exactly that. Ben Jesson, CEO and Dr Karl Blanks, Chairman, revealed a number of tools and techniques that can help evaluate why visitors do not convert on a website and how this can be resolved.

Ben Jesson gave away a number of useful tips on how to gain customer insight and feedback, including recommending websites such as Ethniodev.com (recruiting people for research), Clicktale.com (watching movies of visitors’ browser behaviour) and Kampyle.com (receiving feedback from users). These tools allow webmasters to download and install feedback forms and analytic tools to understand why their websites may be failing to convert as well as they could from a consumer perspective.

Ben encouraged attendees to obtain feedback from visitors to their websites, even if only for a short period of time, and the low cost services he mentioned were usertesting.com, 4Q and SurveyMonkey.com.

He also emphasised how it was invaluable to keep a tab on what was being said about your business or products and recommended the free tools Google Alerts, serph, Twing, Omgili and Yahoo! Answers.

Rocket Scientist Dr Karl Blanks also discussed how merchants can present their offer in such a persuasive manner that expensive technical amendments are not always necessary – brilliant for businesses with tight budgets or limited IT assistance.

He advised tackling objections head on – offering clear reasons why your product should be bought over others and providing facts and figures to show evidence of your success, as well as using emotion supported by logic to convince shoppers to buy – showing your service as something fun that generates serious results or a modest device that leads to highly visible outcomes, can be an easy way of turning visitors into buyers without eating into your profit margins.

Dr Karl Blanks, rocket scientist and now conversion rate expert, gave a fascinating presentation

I came away from the presentation feeling inspired and armed with a number of tips and ideas that would be useful to any of my clients and this seemed to be the general feeling amongst most of the audience.

You can visit www.conversion-rate-experts.com/101ways to read a detailed report from Ben Jesson and Dr Karl Blanks. They have also just published a page on their site listing 14 free tools to increase site conversions that they mentioned in their seminar.

If you were lucky enough to attend this or any other of the presentations at the a4u expo, let us know your thoughts about them below. Which was your favourite?

Related Links: a4u Expo London 2007 pictures.