Persona Template – Free !
Updated 02/07/2020 – Now with 12 free persona templates.
A persona template is often applied in user-centred design because they create better understanding of and empathy for prospects and customers alike. Buyer persona templates are used for a variety of purposes, including as a customer journey mapping tool, improving customer onboarding, designing sales strategies and increasing customer retention.
1. What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of an important customer segment based on insights from market research and other relevant sources of data, including complaints, customer services and data analytics. The persona template should include information on relevant characteristics of the customer or prospect such as demographics, lifestyle, geography, habits, motivations and goals. These characteristic should be determined by your research and relevance to your sector/product.
2. How are persona templates used?
A user persona template is a great tool for improving understanding of your customer segments and communicating this knowledge to the wider business. A persona template helps bring your customers to life and helps you to get away from using descriptive statistics that rely on averages which can be highly misleading. They also help you to stop treating all users the same as this will only lead to an average conversion rate.
Personas should not be based on descriptive statistics because there is no such thing as an average user. A good persona should be based on in-depth research and segmentation of your customer or prospect base. This can allow you to personalise your user experience for individual user segments.
Persona templates are used to improve the user experience by making designers and other stakeholders consider how the user will react in different situations and to different experiences. A well designed user persona makes us think about the user’s needs and emotional response to our product or design. It should also provide a common goal and direction for all decision makers to refer to when considering changes to an experience. This can make it easier to come to a consensus for making important decisions about a design because everyone should be thinking about the same user.
3. How to use persona templates to improve conversion:
I have previously outlined a process for using personas to improve your conversion rate. This is based upon the Buyer Legends process developed by top US customer experience pioneers Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg. It is essential that your user persona is use for making decision as otherwise it will be a wasted opportunity to become more user-centric.
The Buyer Legends process forces stakeholders to evaluate a user journey from the customer or prospects perspective. It also encourages decision makers to challenge misconceptions about users and how they might behave or feel in different situations.
If you need a persona template for Word or an online tool for building buyer personas there are some excellent free persona creators. Below are the 12 best free persona template tools for you to create and share your buyer personas. I have summarised the features of each persona template to provide an indication of what they offer.
4. Recommended Persona Template:
My personal recommendation for a persona template creator is Xtensio as this provides an excellent and flexible framework that is easy to complete and customise. You can add charts, images, graphs and videos using a drag and drop editor. By adding colleagues (or clients) you can collaborate in real-time on the cloud.
5. Persona Template – Free:
1. Buyer Persona Institute: A free download persona template which allows you to document your buyer’s role, responsibilities and the resources they trust.
2. Content Harmony: A free B2B customer persona template Word doc which can be downloaded. Their website includes advice on persona profiles and customer journey maps.
3. Fluid: A simple but effective persona based upon competitor research.
4. Inflow: A persona topic matrix which is too much like a spreadsheet for our liking, but may be useful as a starter.
5. Kayak: This persona template 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.
6. Kula Partners: This is more of a Pdf for collecting rather than displaying a user persona. It takes you through the information you need to create a user persona but lacks a front-end to communicate it in an engaging manner.
7. Makemypersona: from Hubspot: This is a free step-by-step wizard persona template which takes you through the process of creating your own buyer persona. 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.
8. Personapp: A free web based persona template 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.
9. Up Close & Persona: A free persona template 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.
10. Userforge: One of the most flexible tools for collaborative user persona template 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.
11. UXPRESSIA: Sign up for free to use this persona tool for collaborating with team-mates to create powerful buyer personas. Over 20 tailored sections to incorporate your target audience knowledge. You can stretch, drag and drop sections to customise the layout to meet your specific needs.
12. Xtensio: A free forever buyer persona template 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. A highly recommended persona creator.
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 persona templates here to help you create your buyer personas. To get the most from personas learn how to create a buyer persona to improve conversions. This will help you conduct 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 marketing optimisation consultancy services and has worked for brands such as Deezer.com, Foxybingo.com, Very.co.uk, partypoker.com and Bgo.com. He uses a variety of techniques, including web analytics, personas, customer journey analysis and customer feedback to improve a website’s conversion rate.
- Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on CXL and Usabilla.com. As an ex-market research and insight manager he also had posts published on the GreenBook Blog research website. If you wish to contact us please send an email to email@example.com. You can follow uson Twitter @conversionupl, see Neal’s LinkedIn profile or connect on Facebook.