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Every company executes signatures for contracts and other forms. Electronic signature software streamlines this process, accelerating the speed of business. Several services deliver solutions, each unique in its own way. Consider these top offerings to find the one that best fits your company’s needs.
Electronic signature software is experiencing strong adoption. Forecasts estimate the market to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 25% over the next decade.
This isn’t surprising. E-signature processes are faster and easier than traditional wet signatures, delivering numerous business benefits.
Several vendors are meeting the demand for electronic signature software. The number of vendors and the broad range of offerings can prove overwhelming. The Ascent dug into the choices, and we distilled them down to a handful of top e-signature software solutions.
Each e-signature option on this list delivers unique value. Define your company’s electronic signature needs, then identify a compelling choice from this list.
Each vendor packages its offerings into various subscription tiers. Buy the subscription containing the features you want, or craft a custom combination with the software’s enterprise options.
Still have questions? Dive into the full reviews to learn more about each solution.
DocuSign is a leader in the e-signature space, and for good reason. As one of the oldest electronic signature services, its long history allowed it to build an extensive feature set. Its broad capabilities enable DocuSign to fulfill nearly any business need.
DocuSign is well designed, giving you several options to create digital signatures while maintaining efficiency and simplicity. These aspects coupled with its vast functionality make DocuSign top-rated software, and allow it to meet the needs of many companies, from individual entrepreneurs to large corporations.
DocuSign guides you through each step of the document preparation process with a clean, intuitive interface. For frequently used documents, streamline the process further by performing the setup once then saving them as templates. Templates are ready-to-send documents accessible to others in your organization.
Easily drag and drop signature fields and other required info onto a document. Image source: Author
DocuSign is thorough in its signing functionality, but that’s not all. The company offers a suite of document life cycle management capabilities such as automated document workflows. These additional products require a separate purchase, but they give your business room to grow as your document management needs evolve.
DocuSign pricing starts at $10/month for an individual account billed annually. Its business subscription plans begin at a monthly $25/person for up to five users when paying annually.
Separate pricing exists for real estate firms and businesses that want to use DocuSign’s API (application programming interface) to build custom solutions.
The beauty of eversign lies in its simplicity. If you want a service to knock out e-signatures quickly and easily, eversign is an ideal choice.
eversign’s strength resides in its singular focus around speed and efficiency over a large swath of features. It doesn’t try to do more than help you effectively execute e-signatures, making eversign a good fit for companies seeking a basic, uncomplicated electronic signature service.
The software gives you the tools, such as templates, to execute digital signature collection. But if you don’t have time to prepare a document for signing, eversign lets you skip this step entirely.
Check document status and take the appropriate action with the click of a button. Image source: Author
Enter a recipient’s email address, then use eversign’s Quick Send option and the software automatically appends signature fields to the document. It’s that quick and simple.
eversign’s elegant design tucks its toolset into easily accessible locations, but out of your way until you need them. Editing options are a right mouse click away. A document’s appropriate next step is conveniently presented based on document status. Other features include templates and an API.
eversign is priced well compared to competitors. It offers a free version while paid options begin at a low $7.99/month when billed annually.
For a streamlined e-signature service, check out HelloSign. It features an elegantly simple interface delivering intuitive functionality perfect for non-technical users.
It’s owned by Dropbox, the digital document storage company, so naturally the two solutions are integrated. Easily pull in documents from Dropbox for e-signature setup. If you don’t use Dropbox, HelloSign integrates with other popular third-party apps such as Google’s Gmail to sign an emailed document.
Like its peers on this list, HelloSign delivers time-saving templates, straightforward document tracking, and the ability to create custom solutions with its API. It offers a nice balance of features and simplicity, making it suitable for technical novices and companies of all sizes.
HelloSign’s interface is clean, intuitive, and beautifully simple. Image source: Author
The one area where HelloSign’s simple feature set proves limiting is its mobile app. Use it to sign docs on the go or for in-person signatures, but it lacks the ability to track document status and perform follow-up.
HelloSign offers a free version with limited features. Its paid subscriptions start at $13/month when billed annually. HelloSign’s enterprise capabilities and API come with custom pricing, so call for a quote.
Adobe Sign comes from Adobe Systems, the company that spearheaded digital document software with innovations such as its PDF (portable document format) software file type. The organization’s history with electronic documents makes Adobe Sign a popular option in the e-signature space.
Adobe Sign can work for any type and size of business, but Adobe targets the product toward larger companies. Individual entrepreneurs are directed toward another Adobe product with an e-signature feature.
Adobe Sign’s strength lies in its broad feature set. It handles e-signature basics, then adds features such as the ability to automatically detect fields to fill out in your document, saving you time from manually marking them.
You have granular control over every detail of the electronic signature process. Define the font size and color of fields you mark in a document, or set rules to determine when to hide these fields.
Options abound when preparing documents. Image source: Author
The options are so vast, it can prove overwhelming. That’s one reason Adobe Sign is best for large companies with exacting needs around e-signature collection.
Adobe Sign also complies with many industry-specific regulatory and legal requirements. If you work in a highly regulated field such as healthcare or financial services, Adobe Sign easily meets industry compliance standards.
No free version is available, and pricing is at $29.99/month, per user, for the small business subscription. Adobe Sign caps the number of signature transactions, but if you choose an enterprise account, you can avoid the cap through transaction-based pricing.
PandaDoc has created a robust, free e-signature solution. Where rivals cap your usage, PandaDoc’s free version provides unlimited electronic signatures for several users.
PandaDoc can do this because its paid versions extend beyond online signatures, focusing on the broader document management life cycle. PandaDoc possesses capabilities such as tools to build professional documentation containing images and videos and the ability to collect payments.
These features make PandaDoc ideal for sales teams. It’s why PandaDoc specifically targets this audience in its positioning strategy although the software is appropriate for any size and type of business.
PandaDoc supports inserting images, videos, pricing tables, and other content. Image source: Author
PandaDoc offers the most extensive suite of tools to build compelling documents from scratch on our list. If document presentation is among your key criteria, PandaDoc deserves serious consideration.
Its free version is great for businesses with light e-signature requirements or those just starting out since PandaDoc’s capabilities can grow with your organization. Beyond its free option, PandaDoc’s paid versions start at $19/user, per month, when billed annually.
Every e-signature vendor provides a secure technology infrastructure to protect your documents, data, and personal information. The software must also comply with electronic signature laws around the world.
These are the minimum requirements to operate in the e-signature space. Beyond that, here are key attributes inherent in all good e-signature software, including those on this list.
No one wants to spend time tinkering in an e-signature interface. The software should streamline the end-to-end signature collection process.
The solutions on this list do just that, incorporating features to make e-signature execution quick and simple. Easily prepare a document by flagging the fields requiring signatures and other info such as the signer’s title. Define the recipients, email it, and you’re done.
Each uses templates to save time and ensure efficiency. Set up your e-signature document once, then save it as a template for reuse by you and others in your organization. Templates not only save time, they ensure consistency in the collected information.
The same easy-to-use experience is presented to document recipients. A request for signature arrives via email. From there, recipients click a link to go directly to the form. The software guides them through the document and where to sign.
Every solution provides tools to manage and track e-signature execution. You can conveniently see which documents are still pending, and send reminders with the click of a button or have the system automatically send them on a predefined schedule.
Each provides a clean, easy-to-use interface, making it simple to immediately jump into the product. But if you get stuck, an online self-service help portal aids you in finding answers.
Work is increasingly performed on mobile devices, but the ability to execute e-signature tasks on the go is particularly important. Many signatures are still performed in person. For example, a notary needs to verify an individual’s identity before collecting signatures.
For these instances, electronic signature software must work across the devices you use whether that’s smartphones or tablets. The options on this list support cross-device use through your mobile device’s web browser, and most come with a free stand-alone mobile app.
Third-party integrations extend the functionality of the e-signature software by connecting it to external apps. The solutions on this list offer integrations with third parties such as Box and Salesforce.
These integrations make it convenient to bring in documents stored elsewhere or to use your CRM software to import contacts. If you require a custom integration, all offer access to an API, allowing you to build your own e-signature solution.
Electronic signature software’s benefits are many, and they amplify for larger companies or if multiple people are involved in signature collection, such as when a document needs to undergo an approval process. Here are some of electronic signature software’s top benefits.
Whether you’re signing up a new client or performing HR paperwork for a recent hire, e-signature services speed the process along. Agreements are easier to complete. A recipient simply needs to perform a few mouse clicks and the signing is done. This leads to faster document completion rates.
According to DocuSign, up to 82% of agreements are typically completed within a day, allowing new customers or employees to start with your company sooner. Thanks to in-person e-signing capabilities, you can collect digital signatures when meeting with clients.
Collecting signatures electronically is a time saver. Frequently-used documents saved as templates allow staff to repeatedly use them with minimal preparation time.
After defining recipients, the software takes care of sending documents out for signatures. Follow-up reminders are easily sent with the click of a button, or automated based on your preferences.
Need to present documents for signatures in person? Save time there, too. Use a mobile device to immediately capture and file signed documents on the go.
E-signing eliminates the onerous manual steps involved in collecting signatures, improving productivity. Your team no longer needs to prepare documents. They just grab a template and send.
Need to know if a document has been signed? Simply check the status in the software. Use the built-in tracking tools to view who signed and who needs a reminder. This affords greater accountability without burdensome processes.
Leverage third-party integrations to further boost productivity. Many of these vendors provide integrations although more advanced options, such as a CRM, require an enterprise account.
Robert “Izzy” Izquierdo possess over 15 years of measurable success building and marketing multi-million dollar software products. Izzy is an expert in the disciplines of Software Product Management and Product Marketing, including digital solutions for Smart TVs, streaming video, ad tech, and global web and mobile platforms.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned.
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