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Top 15 persona tools & templates

Buyer personas | 16 MIN READ
top 15 persona tools and templates

The concept of buyer persona is pivotal to your business without which you will be shooting in the dark. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer which is arrived at using data from your existing clients, competitor’s clients, and from different sources of data. When you have your buyer personas, the targeting is made with precision. Without buyer personas, you will likely be targeting a huge section of prospects who will never need your product.

Finding buyer persona is not only to understand who your prospective customer might be, it will also help you come up with insights that can be used by the marketing, sales, operations, customer service, and product development teams. The business will be able to make smarter decisions that will directly affect their ROI.

If your buyer personas are bang on target, you will be able to attract the right kind of leads, which will help with your conversion rates. Buyer personas will even help with your retention strategy because you already know what the customer wants and all you need to do is to keep on giving them what they want.

You could hire a market research team to chalk out your buyer personas, but it is expensive, time consuming and since you need to keep updating your personas on a regular basis, it wouldn’t be affordable for most businesses. What else to do? Thankfully, there are a lot of tools and templates which will do this for you.

Let us check out the top 15 persona templates and tools.

Make my Persona by HubSpot

It is an interactive web tool that helps businesses generate buyer personas for itself. The tool will ask you a bunch of questions to narrow down the characteristics of your ideal customer. Each question is designed in a way so that the research for finding your buyer persona is thorough and comprehensive. After you have answered all the questions, it will send a fully customizable persona document with details about your target audience.

make my persona 1

Once you go to the tool, you will be presented with two paths, one will tell you where you will be guided on how to collect data for buyer personas. The other path is for those who have already collected relevant data, all you need to do is to organize the data on the tool to get your customized buyer profile.

There are seven steps in the Make My Persona tool before they send you the final persona document. Each stage focuses on a specific area to understand the buyer persona.

make my persona 2

After the walkthrough where you answer the questions, you are now in front of the persona document editor. At this stage, you can customize your persona document so that it is in alignment with your business needs. Here are some of the characteristics that are included: age, education level, job role, designation, hobbies, challenges faced, who do they report to, how and where do they get information from, etc.

Once this is over, you will be able to download the buyer person document and share it with different departments in your organization. Apart from the buyer persona tool, HubSpot offers a lot of free resources that help with your buyer persona plans.

Live Persona by Delve AI

In a world where petabytes of data is created every day from a single organization, it is no wonder that artificial intelligence is one of the most sought after technologies. If businesses are not making use of data generated within the company, then it is a shame.

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An AI-powered persona creator, Live Persona by Delve AI, helps you understand your digital users and buyers with ease. From your website’s Google Analytics data, it automatically generates segment-wise, data-driven buyer personas usually in minutes, using machine learning.

It also handles B2C and B2B specific scenarios, adds industry specific insights and extracts sample journeys for each segment. Delve AI combines unique attributes of your best performing segments with the help of another tool called Competitor Persona, using which you can keep an updated version of your ideal customer profile.

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One of the best things about Delve AI’s Live Persona is that the personas are auto-generated and keeps getting updated by itself. Since the personas are automatically updated, every single content you create or any other decision that you take based on the personas is going to be right on the button.

No coding is required, and you can try the tool for free. Paid plans start at $16 per month, billed yearly.

SEMrush

The buyer persona template offered by SEMrush asks for a variety of data to ensure that the personas are as refined as possible. It collects data from the following: existing customer profiles, primary research using online tools, data from secondary research, analytics dashboard, and so on, for including demographic factors. Data about the job profile of the individuals, the kind of responsibilities they are burdened with and the industry that they are in, are added to the mix too. The beliefs, values, personal goals and professional goals of your website visitors are to be collected.

xtensio

This template uses input data from market research, competitor research, and the decision making process followed. All of this information helps to understand the prospective customer, the process they follow, and so on. With each data that you add to the persona, you are adding more clarity into it. The SEMrush buyer persona template takes into account 20+ attributes to find buyer personas for your brand.

Xtensio.com

You can create an effective user persona and compare them with each other without knowing a single line of code. It eases the entire process for you thanks to its templates.

If you want a persona creator software that is good for both managing large volumes of data and that which allows for seamless communication within the team, then Xtensio should be one of your top choices. Xtensio encourages accountability and increases productivity among its team members. It ensures that key data is reviewed at regular intervals to gain context from it.

xtensio

With Xtensio’s free version, you can create up to 5 personas and it will give you access to all its software tools and modules.

The use cases that Xtensio has mentioned in its website are: Work better with clients, improve marketing, boost sales, improve communications, brand building, launching a product.

Upcloseandpersona.com

It allows you to create individual buyer personas and also has a sample persona available for you that can be used as a guide. Up Close and Persona mainly focuses on B2B businesses and is considered to be extremely detailed when compared with most other persona generators. The targeting becomes more effective, but it also helps with positioning of your business within the industry.

up close and persona

Up Close and Persona asks a series of questions to help you narrow down your personas. Here are some of the questions in it:

  1. Let’s start out by creating a company name for your buyer’s persona.
  2. Define the industry your persona works in
  3. What is the average size of the companies that you usually target?
  4. What is its annual revenue?
  5. What kind of work style do they follow? Flat or hierarchy?
  6. Who is the decision maker in your company?
  7. What is the current trend in your industry regarding X?
  8. Who are your industry leaders?

The answers to the above questions will bring you closer to the buyer personas. While the tool is considered pretty simple and standard when compared to the others in the market, this is the right solution if you are looking for something basic.

User Forge

If you are extremely sure about what should go into your marketing efforts, then this is the best bet for you. User Forge provides a lot of freedom to add your own criteria than other persona generators in the market. It is a collaborative tool with an excellent UI which makes the process of generating personas much easier.

User Forge is a simple tool that creates lightweight personas while facilitating collaborative iteration and contextual conversations derived from each piece of data. It not only provides a platform to manage a lot of aspects in the UX design process, but also offers tools like scenarios, empathy maps, journey maps, etc.

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When you go to the page which generates personas, you will be able to use characteristics such as Needs, Frustration, Values, Habits, Blockers, Motivations, Quote, Goals, Story, to narrow down your personas. The interface is extremely simple and User Forge allows you to create personas, user stories and context maps.

It offers a trial workspace which is free for up to 3 personas and 2 collaborators. Apart from the free plan, it has three paid plans.

Personas Pro: It is available at $29/month and is mainly used for persona related projects. It allows up to 5 collaborators and you can create 20 personas in a month apart from 25 stories. Small Workspace: With 10 collaborators, 150 stories and unlimited personas, this plan is priced at $49 per month. Standard Workspace: Priced at $99 per month, it allows for 20 collaborators, unlimited personas and 1000 stories.

Smaply

It gives you tools to visualize customer experience by helping you create personas, journey maps and stakeholder maps. Smaply is a paid tool but allows you to experience the product first hand with a 14-day free trial. The tool offers a variety of customization options using which you can be as creative as possible.

smaply 1

Use its flexible drag-and-drop text editor and add various elements like images, designs, text, etc., to build a buyer persona. You can add pictures to create empathy with your persona. No matter how demanding your needs are, you will likely find a customization option available on Smaply.

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The tool allows teams to structure insight data and create real journey map repositories.

Their three plans named Starter, Regular and Business are priced at 25 EUR, 50 EUR and 100 EUR respectively.

UXPressia

Apart from generating personas, it also helps with creating customer journey maps and impact maps. Even with its free tool you can create a buyer persona. The persona template that you will find on its site will have some of the most important questions that are used to build buyer personas. If you want to add more questions or edit the ones that are present on the template, you can easily make that happen.

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You have four different persona templates to choose from, advanced editing options, and a plethora of additional elements. You can collaborate with all your stakeholders in real-time.

It even allows you to color code certain characteristics for easy identification. One of its best advantages is that you can spot the differences between behavioral patterns, traits, etc., when you compare different customer profiles.

uxpressia 2

UXPressia even has a name and photo generator which will save you a lot of time. For the former, it helps with natural sounding names and the latter creates empathy by providing an appropriate photo based on the context. Reach out to your customers by offering an omni-channel experience where you can use more than 50 channels. There are customizable sliders which can help you visually highlight the differences between personas.

Socialbakers

It is an AI-enabled social media marketing tool for brands and agencies that are looking to up their marketing game. Using Socialbakers, you can arrive at your customer personas, use advanced content intelligence, and search for influencers in your industry.

social bakers 1

Use the interests, motivations, behaviors, and affiliations of your target market to find out people who have behaviors that are closest to your ideal customers. You do not have to manually find out all these details as Socialbakers’ AI will do all of this.

Here are the data collected in the free buyer persona template from Socialbakers:

  • Persona name
  • Age
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Primary languages
  • When they are online
  • Interests
  • Affinities
  • Goals
  • Frustrations
  • Brands they love
  • Influencers they follow
  • Platforms they use
  • social bakers 2

It also asks questions like the kind of posts that the buyer persona is more likely to engage with. Thanks to the social media side of the tool, it even helps you to find out the pages and influencers they follow and provides you a list of posts based on their interests.

Venngage

It is an online tool that helps businesses with creating infographics, reports, data visualization, etc. Venngage has more than 190+ templates for persona building. When you find out who your perfect customer is, you will be able to easily find them from a group. But you need to ensure that the information is effectively passed to every stakeholder in your company.

venngage

Venggage helps you make your user persona guide into a visually appealing one. Thanks to all the persona guide templates that it has, you will be able to create a unique persona guide using the thousands of icons, images, illustrations, etc.

venngage

Designing a persona guide on Venngage is extremely easy. All you need to do is sign up and select the perfect persona guide template for your company. Add the data and other findings to the persona guide template. Use embellishments to make the persona guide look nice.

FlowMapp

When you use Personas tool by FlowMapp, you will be able to tell your users’ story by understanding who they are, what they like, their goals, their behavior patterns, what they are afraid of, the problems they face, pain points, etc. FlowMapp’s Personas tool is a convenient one for users.

flowmapp 1

Here are some of its interesting features:

  • Presets and objects library
  • User flow integration
  • Customizable interface
  • Drag and drop + Snaping
  • Team collaboration
  • Export and share functionality

FlowMapp has a product called User Flow Tool which shows you a visual of the steps that users have to take if they want to complete a certain action when they are on your website or app. The various elements are connected logically, which gives you an understanding of the experience borne by your average website visitor. Using this information and studying the visitor will help you narrow down your buyer persona.

flowmapp 2

Features of Personas tool by FlowMapp:

  • Create personas with ease
  • Use preset blocks to define characteristics, motivations, goals, etc
  • You can create unlimited personas to reach the right audience
  • Customize the displays as much as you want
  • Build user flows based on your research
  • Share your work with stakeholders

The free plan gives you 100 MB space, and 50 pages for one project. The Pro, Team and Agency plans are offered at $8.25, $27 and $110 respectively.

Content Harmony

Content Harmony’s free customer persona template is easy to understand even for someone who doesn’t have a basic idea of marketing.

content harmony 1

They break their persona template into eight sections.

Photo - It adds a picture into a bunch of data which will help us to empathize with the person.

Backstory - Use the data in the CRM to find out more about the person. Even the minutest of details can be a great add.

Psychographics attributes - It lists down the habits, preferences, attitudes, etc., of the personas that you want to generate. This can be analyzed through patterns in marketing and website analytics.

Demographic attributes - Get data from your CRM as well as through other places from where this data can be pulled out.

Goals and Motivations - Write down the goals of the persona which they want to achieve by using your product. Use both personal and professional objectives based on your interviews.

Roadblocks - Is there any reason why they are not able to achieve their goal? Write them down.

Sales objections - Write down why your prospects might not want to turn into a customer. Based on this information, you will need to come up with answers to handle sales objections.

Quote- What is a quote that you would use to describe your persona?

A B2B persona template based on the above sections, is provided.

content harmony 2

Akoonu

It helps you create beautiful customer personas and integrates with your CRM software. Akoonu’s offering also includes CRM journey map data, automated content inventories, messaging style guides, branding style guides and so on. Its free version has a lot of functionalities too, and has a comprehensive research library and support features.

akoonu 1

With its standard integrations, it captures data from the most popular email, calendar and marketing automation systems. It syncs buyer personas, user journeys, targeted messaging, etc., to increase buyer understanding.

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Akoonu’s buyer personas are identified automatically within market segments which match against leads and contacts to enable guided selling. Akoonu is a great addition to your marketing if you are into Account-Based Marketing. Its journey maps and personas organize buyer research through a data-driven process.

Personapp

It uses a light framework to create and share personas by using a simple foundation. While it isn’t a highly functional tool, it is helpful to create simple personas within a short span of time. They also have the option to share it with all their stakeholders.

personapp

Personapp offers you the space in the template to add details about the buyers, needs, motivations, etc. There is no space to add any new section manually. So if you are looking to create complex personas, the Personapp is not the tool to use. There is no limit on the number of personas you can generate. Collaboration between different stakeholders makes it easy for everyone involved.

Buyer Persona Template

The Buyer Persona Template from the Buyer Persona Institute helps businesses understand the insights that sales and marketing teams need. Address your customers at each stage in the customer journey using the insights that you get from using the buyer persona template.

buyer persona template

These free buyer persona templates are based on ‘5 rings of buying insight’:

  • Priority initiatives
  • Success factors
  • Perceived barriers
  • Buyer’s journey
  • Decision criteria

Each of these will add to the refinement of your audience, based on which you can create your customer persona.

Why do you even need buyer personas in the first place?

The real goal behind creating user personas is to know the objectives of your prospective customer. Understand their motivation, why they require a product like that of yours, what inspires them, their likes, dislikes, and so on. Knowing user personas makes the business take cognizance of the end user during each stage, right from design to ideation. Creating user personas will also align all the stakeholders together. It also acts as a guidance system so that every work is done with the end user in mind.

Buyer personas allow businesses to understand how its customers search for you, which channels they use, what media they consume, tools they use, and so on. Based on this information, businesses can make a lot of decisions which will affect their bottomline positively.

You will find that most companies usually only talk about the features they offer. Those that have their user personas ready will present themselves in a different way. Such companies will tell their personas how exactly they will get benefited by using their product.

Potential buyers will naturally gravitate towards a company that tells them-”Hey, this is how you will benefit. Your business will be able to get more leads when you use this specific solution.”

Essentials to a good user B2B/B2C persona template:

Basic information:

The user persona template that you use should always include basic information about the user. The information should include name, gender, age, occupation, job details, designation, marital status, alumni, personality map, etc. The goal of this step is to get a quick idea of who someone is. Please do remember that you are not taking in information about everybody, but you are just trying to figure out the concept of your ideal user here.

Contextual images:

Pictures can create a lot of difference about how we perceive someone. When you give a face to an archetype, you will be able to empathize more with them. It will guide on how to create designs and products in such a way that it would help the user. The picture will help you give more clarity on who your ideal customer is. Is it a barely out of college kid or a CEO in his late 40s?

Personality Type:

Adding details about the personality of your archetype will help narrow down some of their behavior traits. If it is a B2C persona template, then you can find a set of people with behavioral similarities. For a B2B persona template, getting to know the kind of websites they search to seek information on products they want to buy is a smart move. You can also use the Myers-Briggs test as an example of their personality type or describe them in a paragraph which includes details about their quirks and mannerisms.

Motivations and objectives:

In this section, for both B2B persona template and B2C persona template, you list their goals and motivations related to your product. It has to mention why someone would want to buy your product. Knowing their reasons behind wanting to buy your offering, you will be able to create products and services in such a way that it hits the right spot.

Prospect’s problems:

As a business that wants to offer something of value to its customers, you need to find out the issues they are facing. Based on their goals, you will be able to figure out what they want and on further probing, it should come to your understanding as to how you can solve it for them. Ask them a variety of questions like what their pain points are, who is their best bet, what better features are they expecting from a similar product, and so on.

Other considerations:

The thoroughness of your B2B persona template will result in more accurate user personas. It will be extremely helpful when you guide your design decisions for them.

What are their favorite brands? Why do they like a particular brand? Why do they hate a few brands? How often do they purchase from the brands they like?

Add a quote from someone who was a part of the interviews to find B2B personas. It will add more personality into it.

Find out the channels that they usually use, like websites, social media networking sites, etc.

Misunderstandings with user persona:
myths about buyer personas

We will talk about some common misunderstandings that businesses have with personas.

#1 They don’t work for every industry:

When you are selling something, you want your customers to know that you have the best intentions for them. By understanding them deeply, you will be able to do that with ease. How? With the help of user personas. Even if there are multiple people involved in the buying process, you can create personas for each case so that you can help the customer go deeper into the sales funnel.

#2 Personas don’t represent real customers:

We don’t really know everything about our customers. There is a lot of information that doesn’t get registered. So the only way for us to understand them deeply is to discover more about them. Listening to them and asking probing questions can help in unraveling gems that might be useful for decision making.

#3 Once you create buyer persona, it’s forever:

If your personas were created three years ago and you still use the same persona template to make decisions, then you are in for a shock because your customers and their behaviors are rapidly changing. Their motivations change. You need to keep updating your buyer personas on a regular basis. For every feature that you add, the buyer persona will keep changing.

#4 Personas are too narrow or broad:

Personas are a work in progress and is as flexible as you want it to be. By using data and analytics, it is possible to provide direction and be accurate as your buyer persona is based upon data that is collected from the customers. If you use the right B2B persona templates or B2C persona templates based on your requirements, then your buyer personas will be effective.

#5 Buyer persona creation is complex:

Personas are exceptional for your business if you make full use of them, but if you are not able to connect with your customers and get insights from them, then it can be a difficult process, Thankfully, tools like the ones that we have mentioned have made the entire process exceptionally simple. The persona templates available make it easy to create personas when you have the data about your archetypes ready.

Conclusion:

It is easy to get lost in superficial metrics such as views, comments, etc. They are worthy only when there is proper action, but if you use this data to get into the minds of customers, then they are not vanity metrics anymore. You cannot know each and every customer who wants to buy your product, but you can certainly group them into segments and chart it out to get a detailed idea about everyone. Each segment of your audience is turned into a customer persona.

Your buyer personas will be effective only when they are driven by data. By accurately depicting your buyer personas, you will be able to make informed decisions. When you use tools and templates that we have mentioned in this guide, you will find that the entire process of creating buyer personas is streamlined and allows you to make strategic decisions that will help the business.

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A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on various factors such as customer demographics, behavior, motivations, goals, data of existing customers/competitor’s customers, research, etc.
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