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Top 12 persona tools & templates

Use these persona tools and templates to create buyer personas for your business easily. Get closer to your customers with deeper insights from the personas generated.
16 Min Read    |   March 15, 2024
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Table Of Contents

    A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customers, created using different data sources, such as data from your current customers, past buyers, and competitors.

    They are pivotal to your business and not something you can do without. And why not?

    Buyer personas make targeting easy, precise, and efficient. They help you avoid costly mistakes, ensuring that you don't focus your efforts on a market segment that will never need or use your product.

    A deep understanding of your prospective buyers is just the start.

    Personas also offer valuable customer insights that can be used by your sales, marketing, operations, product development, and customer service teams.

    A well-informed team makes smarter decisions, attracting the right leads and improving your conversion rates and business ROI.

    When you clearly understand customer preferences and needs, you can consistently give them what they want and develop an effective customer retention strategy.

    However, building buyer personas from scratch is not easy.

    You could hire a market research team to chalk them out for you, but it will be expensive, time-consuming, and impractical for your business in the long run.

    Thankfully, there are a lot of tools and services available online. Let’s check out the top 12 persona templates and tools.

    1. Make my Persona by HubSpot

    Make My Persona is an interactive web tool developed by Hubspot that helps businesses generate buyer personas for themselves.

    When you visit their website, you will be presented with two alternatives: the former tells you about buyer personas and the latter allows you to create said personas.

    make my persona by hubspot

    The Build My Persona tool takes you through a step-by-step process, asking you a variety of questions to narrow down the characteristics of your ideal customers.

    The walkthrough consists of a total of seven stages before you are sent to the final persona document.

    Each stage focuses on a specific area, like demographics, psychographics, job status, industry, and content consumption habits, making sure that your buyer persona is thorough and comprehensive.

    For example, here are some of the questions asked:

    • What are your buyers’ goals or objectives?
    • What are their biggest challenges?
    • What industry do they work in?
    • How is their job measured?
    • Who do they report to?
    • What are their job responsibilities?
    • How do they communicate with others?
    • What tools do they use or need to do their job?
    • How do they gain information?
    • What social networks do they belong to?

    Once you've answered these questions, the tool will take you to the persona document editor. Here, you have the flexibility to add or remove sections, and customize the document to align with your business needs.

    make my persona example

    It is completely free and you can download the buyer persona document as a PDF file and/or share it with different departments in your organization.

    In addition to the buyer persona tool, HubSpot has other free resources, articles, and guides to assist you with your persona creation strategies.

    Note: Make My Persona is built for people who already have some relevant customer data and need a platform to organize and tailor buyer profiles according to their needs.

    2. Persona by Delve AI

    Persona by Delve AI is an AI-powered persona generator that helps you understand your digital users and buyers with ease.

    persona by delve ai

    Organizations around the world generate petabytes of data every single day – data so vast and complex that it cannot be handled by normal human beings.

    People are turning to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to process, analyze, and make use of the data created within the company.

    Persona by Delve AI takes your first-party data (web analytics, CRM data, and surveys) and combines it with second party (social media data) and public data sources (voice of the customer data from reviews, blogs, forums, and news) to automatically create segment-wise, data-driven buyer personas for your business in minutes.

    It handles both B2C and B2B specific scenarios, adding industry-specific insights, and extracts sample journeys for each persona segment.

    persona segment

    Once you click on PERSONA DETAILS, you will instantly get insights into their demographics, sources of influence, preferences, interests, goals, challenges, hobbies, values, personality and emotional analysis.

    detailed persona sample

    The DISTRIBUTION tab further gives you information about:

    • Device types, marketing channels, and search queries
    • Industry, company size, job function and seniority
    • Pages, events, actions and intent

    An advantage of Persona by Delve AI is that your segments are auto-generated. With automatic updates, you can ensure that all your persona centric content plans and marketing decisions remain relevant.

    Updated personas further help businesses and marketers gain a deeper understanding of their preferred customer segments. They enable exceptional customer experiences and drive market growth.

    No coding is required, and you can try the tool for free. Paid plans start at $71 per month, billed yearly.

    3. SEMrush Persona

    Initially, SEMrush offered a buyer persona template in the form of a PDF file that individuals could easily download and fill out.

    It took into account 20+ attributes to find personas for your brand.

    However, the company has developed a SEMrush Persona tool, much like Hubspot, that gives users the ability to “design bespoke personas” to better understand their customers.

    semrush persona

    The software provides an interactive workspace and comes with three pre-built persona templates:

    1. Default template to create a normal buyer persona
    2. B2B template to fit your B2B needs
    3. User persona template to focus on people who will be using your product

    You can modify any of the three templates generated to fit your business objectives.

    As you can see, the template incorporates input data from various sources like consumer market research, competitor analysis, and the user's decision-making process.

    semrush persona example

    You can add details from your existing customer profiles and cover touchpoints through primary and secondary research using online tools, analytics dashboards, and so on.

    The little light bulbs at the top corner of each tile make this process simpler by telling you:

    • what each section is about
    • where you can get this information
    • how you can use this information

    Each tile aids in gathering insights into the demographics, beliefs, values, preferences, as well as personal and professional goals of your website visitors.

    SEMrush’s B2B persona templates describe job profiles, responsibilities, jobs-to-done, and the industry your buyers inhabit.

    The more touch points you incorporate, the clearer the picture becomes, enabling you to identify the factors influencing purchase decisions and enhancing the accuracy of your customer personas.

    4. Xtensio

    Buyers are not the only individuals who can be analyzed using persona templates. You can create effective user personas and compare them without knowing a single line of code as well.

    Xtensio’s User Persona Template is the right step in this direction.

    xtensio user persona

    The persona creator software is good at managing large volumes of data. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways for teams to create, collaborate, and share all of their persona documents online.

    You can create visually engaging user personas without any design experience. In addition, Xtensio allows you to:

    • Outline user behavior, needs, interest and motivators
    • Develop messaging and value propositions that speak to your target users
    • Ensure seamless communication between sales, design and marketing teams

    Xtensio's user persona template is an excellent choice for companies with multiple contributors, as it enhances accountability and productivity among team members.

    The tool ensures regular review of key data to provide valuable context.

    With the free version, you can build up to 5 personas and get access to all of the software’s tools and modules.

    If you have the budget, you should upgrade and subscribe to any of the three paid levels. Paid plans allow you to design multiple personas, get unlimited exports, and remove Xtensio watermarks from your documents.

    5. Up Close & Persona

    Up Close & Persona is a B2B buyer persona tool developed by Ardath Albee, a B2B marketing specialist, focusing on the effective use of buyer personas in marketing.

    It allows you to create distinct buyer personas for your B2B business and provides a sample persona document that can be used as a guide (a part of which is displayed below).

    up close and persona sample

    Up Close & Persona is perhaps the oldest buyer persona tool on this list (second only to Buyer Persona Institute). Yet, it is still quite useful.

    The template mainly focuses on B2B clients and is notably more detailed than other persona generators. It makes targeting more effective and strategically positions your business within the industry.

    Up Close and Persona asks the user a series of questions to help you flesh out your B2B personas, such as:

    • In which industry does your persona work?
    • What is the average size of the companies that you usually target?
    • What is its annual revenue?
    • What kind of work style do they follow? Flat or hierarchy?
    • Who is the decision maker in that company?
    • What is the current trend in the industry?/Who are the industry leaders?
    • What is a problem in the industry that your business can solve?

    While the tool is pretty basic and standard compared to others in the market, it is the right solution if you are looking for something that is basic, detailed, and free.

    6. UserForge

    If you know what you want to include in your marketing efforts, then UserForge will work for you. It provides a simple user persona template that gives you the freedom to add your own variables.

    userforge persona

    Although the layout is a bit too simple, it is an excellent collaboration tool for individuals wanting to create lightweight personas.

    It not only provides a platform to manage different aspects of the UX design process but also offers features like empathy maps, customer journey maps, user stories, and flowmaps.

    Recently, the company has come up with a Create with AI feature that uses textual prompts to generate personas.

    UserForge offers a trial workspace wherein you can create two personas and invite a collaborator for free. Apart from this, it has four paid plans:

    1. Personas Lite: The plan is the most basic one available at $6 per month and lets you create 5 AI personas and user stories, with 5 collaborators.
    2. Personas Pro: It is available at $25 per month, allowing up to 12 personas, 5 user stories, and 10 collaborators.
    3. Product Workspace: With 25 AI personas, 150 user stories, and 15 collaborators, this plan is priced at $49 per month.
    4. Power Workspace: Priced at $79 per month, it offers unlimited personas and stories, along with the ability to add 25 collaborators.

    Note that the free plan does not include AI personas or downloadable files – only a share link.

    7. Smaply

    Smaply’s Persona Mapping Tool visualizes customer experiences by helping you create personas, realistic buyer journey maps, and stakeholder maps for different target groups.

    The persona generator makes it easy to empathize with your customers and put them at the center of your service.

    smaply persona tool

    You can add detailed information about your customer personas, highlight important data, or link relevant sources to establish a common ground for the whole team.

    Smaply’s Drag & Drop editor further permits you to add elements, like images, quotes, designs, text, and other details, to customize the template to your preferences.

    So no matter how demanding your needs are, you are likely to find a customization option available on the platform.

    smaply persona example

    Smaply offers a free version that allows you to explore the functions of the product before moving on to the paid plans, namely: Basic (19 EUR per month), Pro (29 EUR per month), and Enterprise (custom pricing).

    Their personas and journeys will empower you to identify your customers’ needs and motivations, helping you optimize your products and services toward their interests.

    8. UXPressia

    Don't limit yourself to just creating buyer personas for marketing; you can also develop customer journeys and impact maps using a tool called UXPressia.

    uxpressia persona generator

    UXPressia’s Online Persona Creator has an assortment of templates designed to create user, buyer, or customer personas for your business.

    You can also build your own customer profiles, change the template structure, experiment with layout designs, and enrich personas with over 20+ sections with different content types.

    uxpressia persona sample

    The name and photo generator tools go a step further by incorporating realistic names and humanistic profile photos to your personas.

    Moreover, you can differentiate between user, buyer, and customer personas, gaining a better understanding of their behavioral patterns, traits, emotions, and motivations.

    The tool also allows you to color-code certain characteristics for easy identification.

    UXPressia’s persona tool facilitates real-time collaboration on personas from anywhere, making it easy to share them with teammates and individuals outside the team.

    The free plan lets you generate one customer journey map and persona, while their Starter and Pro plans (priced at $16 and $36 per user) have a higher threshold.

    9. Venngage

    Venngage is an online graphic design tool (sort of like Canva) that helps businesses create infographics, data visualizations, reports, mind maps, brochures, presentations, and the likes.

    What’s even better is that it has a free online user persona maker with over 190 templates for persona building. Here’s an example.

    venngage persona sample

    With its wide array of persona guide templates, users can effortlessly design visually appealing personas by leveraging thousands of icons, images, and illustrations in the media library.

    Now developing a buyer persona on Venngage is extremely easy; all you have to do is follow these steps:

    • Sign up for free with an email, Gmail or Facebook account
    • Choose the right persona template for your company
    • Insert your content, research and findings
    • Use icons and images for visual aesthetics
    • Download or share your persona directly with your team

    Venngage’s user persona guide will help you find your perfect customer in a sea of other prospects, making certain that the data is passed on to every stakeholder in your company.

    10. Content Harmony

    Content Harmony’s free customer persona template is easy to understand, even for those who don't have a basic idea of marketing, content or otherwise.

    The software breaks down their persona template into eight sections. Given below is an example of their B2B persona template.

    content harmony b2b persona

    It is a two-page document available in Google Doc, which can be directly accessed and copied from their website. These are the sections it covers:

    1. Photo - Add a picture to a set of data to help people empathize with the person behind the persona.
    2. Backstory - Use CRM data to learn more about the person; even the smallest details matter.
    3. Psychographics attributes - List down the habits, preferences, attitudes, and values of the personas you wish to generate. Find patterns through qualitative and quantitative market research.
    4. Demographic identifiers - Gather demographic data from customer surveys, competitor research, and CRM.
    5. Goals and Motivations - Write down the goals and motivations, both personal and professional, that people aim to achieve with your product.
    6. Roadblocks - Identify reasons preventing them from reaching their goals.
    7. Sales objections - Think why your prospects might not want to convert into your customers. Develop responses to handle these objections.
    8. Quote - Choose a quote that aptly describes your buyer.

    After creating a customer persona profile, you can move on to customer journey mapping.

    11. Akoonu

    Akoonu’s buyer persona template lets you create detailed personas and seamlessly integrates with your CRM software. It syncs personas, user journeys, and messaging to enhance buyer understanding.

    akoonu persona example

    The free version offers numerous functionalities, along with a well-built research library and support system.

    Some of its other features include CRM journey maps, automated content inventories, messaging and branding style guides, and planning management.

    Interestingly, Akoonu's system has the capability to automatically identify buyer personas based on market segments.

    They are then matched against leads and contacts within those segments, giving you the freedom to tailor your sales plans according to specific persona traits and characteristics.

    That being said, Akoonu is a great addition to your marketing tech stack if you are into account based marketing (ABM).

    12. Buyer Persona Template

    The Buyer Persona Template from the Buyer Persona Institute is the OG (translation: the original or originator) of persona templates and tools.

    buyer persona template

    It is based on Adelle Revella’s 5 Rings of Buyer Insights that represent customers at different stages of the buyer journey.

    • Priority initiatives explain why your buyer has decided to purchase a product or service similar to the ones you sell.
    • Success factors describe the results buyers expect after buying your solution.
    • Perceived barriers are any misconceptions or doubts that buyers might have about you.
    • Buyer’s journey explains the "work" that buyers do in order to select, buy, and recommend your brand.
    • Decision criteria is an advantage your solution provides which compels buyers to choose you over your competitors.

    Each of these insights refines your audience and shapes your customer personas. This framework helps businesses comprehend and efficiently use the data acquired by sales and marketing teams.

    Why do you need buyer personas in the first place?

    It is a simple question with a simple answer: We create personas to understand the goals and objectives of our customers.

    Without analyzing their motivations, inspirations, interests, pain points, likes and dislikes, you will find it almost impossible to learn why people want a product like yours.

    Buyer personas make consumers the focus point of all your business decisions, right from design to ideation. They connect stakeholders and act as a guidance system, so that every plan is executed with the end users in mind.

    Similarly, they empower brands to know how people search for them, the channels they use, the media content they consume, and the tools they prefer.

    Armed with this information, they can make decisions that positively impact their bottom line.

    In an age where brands often tend to be product-centric, user personas help you become more customer-centric, focusing on building solutions rather than just features.

    Potential buyers will naturally gravitate towards a company that says, “Hey, here's how you will benefit from our service. Your business will generate more leads by using this specific solution.”

    Essentials to a good B2B/B2C persona template

    Now suppose you want to create your very own B2B and B2C persona templates. What elements or attributes would you include?

    Remember, the templates you develop will serve as a valuable guide for designing products, features, and marketing strategies that connect with your target audience.

    So, make sure to incorporate the elements listed below.

    Basic information

    Your persona tools should always include basic details like age, gender, location, occupation, job title, industry, marital status, alumni connections, and personality traits.

    This information provides a quick snapshot of your ideal user, helping you conceptualize and tailor your strategies to meet their needs.

    Contextual images

    Whether it's a recent graduate or an old CEO, visualizing your ideal customer can guide important decisions.

    After all, profile pictures humanize your archetypes, fostering empathy and aiding the design process. They add clarity to your users and help you build a more personal connection.

    Personality type

    You should define the personality traits of your persona profiles using the Myers-Briggs test or providing a descriptive paragraph outlining their quirks and mannerisms.

    For B2C persona templates, focus on behavioral similarities. With B2B personas, look into the types of websites they frequent for information on related products and pages.

    Motivations and objectives

    For both B2C and B2B persona templates, list the goals and motivations related to your product or service, clarifying why someone would want to make a purchase.

    Identifying reasons behind buying decisions enables you to personalize your marketing campaigns in a way that hits all the right spots.

    Prospect’s problems

    Find out the challenges your target audience faces by exploring their goals and digging deeper into their pain points.

    Ask a variety of questions about their expectations and preferences, along with the features they desire in a product to figure out how your business can provide valuable solutions.

    Other considerations

    The more detailed you are, the better your personas will be. You can enhance the thoroughness of your persona templates by exploring additional aspects, like:

    • 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?
    • What are the marketing channels they usually use (websites, social media networks, and online forums)?

    Add a quote and a background from someone who was a part of the interviews to add more personality into your B2B personas.

    Misunderstandings with user persona

    We've discussed the top tools and attributes required to create a buyer persona. Let's address some common misconceptions brands have about personas.

    They don’t work for every industry

    When you are selling, you want your customers to know that you have the best solutions in the market for them. This is possible only when you know their problems.

    User personas help companies belonging to any industry spot user pain points and challenges.

    Even if multiple people are involved in the buying process, creating personas for each use stage can guide customers deeper through the sales funnel.

    Personas don’t represent real customers

    We don’t know everything about our customers – there is a lot of information that simply gets left out while creating personas.

    To truly understand and discover more about them, engage in active listening and ask probing questions. This approach can unravel valuable insights that might be crucial for decision-making.

    You need to develop personas just once

    Buyer personas need regular updates as customer behaviors evolve.

    If you are still depending on documents that you created three years ago, you are in for a rude surprise. You will have to constantly edit these files to keep up with shifting consumer trends.

    Personas are too narrow or broad

    Personas are a work in progress and are as flexible as you want them to be. With data and analytics, it is possible to provide the necessary direction and ensure accuracy.

    Having said that, selecting the right B2B or B2C persona templates is essential to building the personas you require.

    Buyer persona are hard to make

    While personas offer exceptional benefits, reaching out to customers for inputs can be challenging.

    Fortunately, persona tools like the ones we mentioned have simplified the process. Access to user-friendly templates further streamlines persona creation, especially when you have data about your customers.

    Wrapping up

    It's easy to get lost in vanity metrics like views and comments. But when you use them to understand your buyers’ perspectives and convert views into meaningful actions, they cease to be superficial.

    Such customer data is tough to analyze and segment, however, buyer persona templates and tools simplify the process to a great extent.

    Each persona segment gives you data-driven consumer insights, streamlines your marketing efforts, and allows you to make strategic decisions that benefit the business.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What is a buyer persona??

    A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers and represents their goals, pain points, hobbies, interest, motivations, frustrations, personality traits, and more.

    They are created using different data sources, such as data from your past buyers, current customers, and competitors, offering you a holistic view of your buyers based on the commonalities they share.

    What is a persona tool?

    A persona tool helps you create buyer personas manually or automatically using your customer data. It can be an online software that generates personas automatically for your business or a persona template that requires manual inputs.

    How to create a buyer persona?

    Here are five simple steps you can follow to create buyer personas:

    1. Gather qualitative and quantitative customer data

    2. Identify consumer pain points and challenges

    3. Set your marketing goals, objectives, and KPIs

    4. Draft buyer personas

    5. Test, update, and refine personas periodically

    Which tool is used to build customer personas?

    You can use tools like Persona by Delve AI to automatically generate personas for your website, competitors, and social media audience. If you want a fill-in template, you can opt for Make My Persona by Hubspot, SEMrush Persona tool, or Xtensio’s user persona templates.

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