Free tools and resources to create and share buyer personas:
A buyer persona is a great strategy for improving your understanding of your important customer segments and communicating this knowledge to the wider business. I have previously outlined a process for creating and using buyer personas to improve conversion. But if you need a tool for building buyer personas from the segments you have identified here are some excellent free resources.
Below are 7 free tools for you to create and share your buyer personas. I have summarised each one to provide an indication of what they offer.
My personal recommendation is Xtensio as this has an excellent template that is easy to complete and customise. You can also add new sections as required.
The Magnificent 7:
1. Kayak: This tool uses a question and answer approach, though the number of questions and topics is not very comprehensive. This does make it a quick tool to use, but not all the questions will be relevant to all personas and there does not appear to be a way of changing the questions.
There is also no save functionality on the site as your persona is emailed to you within half an hour of completing the process. The lack graphical formatting or a one page summary does limit the use of the tool, but it can be used to help start the persona building process.
2. Makemypersona from Hubspot: This is a free step-by-step wizard to take you through the process of creating your own buyer personas. In addition Hubspot offers a free downloadable template in exchange for your name and email address. The online tool is very intuitive and easy to use. The tool allows you to select a stock photo to represent you persona and emails you the completed persona as a word document after about 15 minutes.
3. Personapp: A free web based app for creating informal personas and sharing with your colleagues. Join up and start creating single page personas in a matter of seconds. You can easily add new sections to customise the template for your specific needs. It allows you to save your personas online, share, print and save personas as a PDF document.
4. Up Close & Persona: A free app that asks you questions to help you understand what motivates your audience. The interface is simple to use, though some of the questions have too few pre-set answers (e.g. there are only 3 age ranges). The app does have a fairly extensive range of questions and displays the full persona when you submit at the end. The persona is also emailed to you, but it would benefit from a 1 page summary of the persona rather than having to scroll down through multiple pages.
5. Userforge: One of the most flexible tools for collaborative user persona development. By using URLs rather than static documents it allows everyone to easily access the latest iteration of your user personas. The wizard only asks a few simple questions, but you can then add as many sections as you need using your own headings for a comprehensive user persona.
6. Xtensio: A free forever buyer persona creator tool to build as many personas as you like. Also has a “How to guide” to help you with the process. This is one of the better online tools as it asks you to complete an online template to create each persona. It has an extensive range of questions, but each field can be amended to suit your needs.
7. Youandco: A simple step-by-step wizard allows you to create your buyer persona and then send it to you as a word document. This is a fairly basic persona, but once you get the word document you can then add more detail to create a more comprehensive persona.
Learningspacetoolkit: This is a great free resource website which includes PDF guides on creating personas and running workshops to create user personas.
There are some excellent free tools here to help you create buyer personas. To get the most from personas see my article how to create a buyer persona to improve conversions. This will help you complete a customer journey analysis to significantly improve your sales and revenues. Although it’s not an easy process and it will take some time to complete, it will definitely be worth the effort as you should see substantial benefits for your organisation.
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- About the author: Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for brands such as Deezer.com, Foxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com. He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback.
- Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website. If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to email@example.com. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch and view his LinkedIn profile.