Pros and Cons of Electronic Signature

Pros and cons of electronic signature
Consider the pros and cons of electronic signature to see if it will meet your signing needs.

Electronic signatures (also known as esignatures or digital signatures) are gaining popularity as a more convenient method for getting documents signed. Before turning your back on the old fashion way of signing with pen and paper, it’s good practice to understand the pros and cons of electronic signature first.

Pro #1: Save Time

With electronic signatures, you eliminate A LOT of steps associated with pen and paper: the need to (1) set up an appointment, (2) print the document, (3) meet signers in person, (4) make copies, and (5) submit signed copies to all parties. The virtual transmission, signing, and storing of documents that are electronically signed generate significant time savings for all parties involved. Time is money, so saving time means putting money in your pocket.

Pro #2: Easy

If you are comfortable with using email and a smartphone, then you will find esignatures to be really easy. Most electronic signature software will have you email your document for signature. The receiver simply clicks on a link to sign on their phone using their finger. And that’s pretty much it. One of the easiest electronic signature software to use is eSignToday. You simply upload your document, add the email addresses for who has to sign, and that’s it.

Con #1: Cost

There is a lot of selection when deciding which electronic signature software to use. Most services require a monthly subscription where you pay every month for a certain number of esignatures based on your subscription. One of the more popular esignature services is DocuSign. DocuSign’s cheapest plan starts at $10 per month, which is limited to five documents per month, so you’re already spending at least $120 per year. One of the, if not the only, electronic signature software that charges a flat fee is eSignToday. At only $0.50 per signature, you eliminate any monthly subscription, and you only pay for what you need.

Con #2: Comfort with Technology

Electronic signatures rely on the Internet and email to work, so all parties (document senders and receivers) have to be comfortable with technology. For example, if a signer does not have a smartphone or email, then an electronic signature is not possible. In this case, paper and pen trump electronic signatures. So there may be situations where you can benefit from electronic signatures while in other situations, you can still go the old fashioned way with paper and pen.

As you consider the pros and cons of electronic signatures, you will make the best choice for your signing needs. Whether you use paper and pen or an electronic signature software, knowing your audience will make the signing process easier.

Printer not working? Esign Instead!

Printer Not Working - Esign Instead
Printer Not Working? A good alternative is to use an esignature service.

Printing a document can be frustrating. There are many reasons that your printer might not be working. As an example, it could be out of ink or not connecting to your wifi. If you are printing a document to sign it, using a simple to use “esign service” is a smart way to eliminate your printing problem!

Reasons Your Printer Is Not Working

Your printer might be broken for many reasons:

  • You might be out of ink or laser toner. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever priced ink or laser cartridges, you know that these are costly to replace.
  • Your printouts look terrible. This happens a lot with color printers as the ink cartridges get old and start smearing ink. Again, this might lead to the costly purchase of replacement ink.
  • Your printer loses its network connection. This happens a lot with wireless printers. Troubleshooting this can be beyond frustrating.

Faster to Esign A Document

If the reason that you are trying to print a document is to sign it, there is an easier way. Ask the document owner to use an easy to use and inexpensive esignature service.

As an example, eSignToday (signup at eSignToday.com) is super-easy to setup. The document owner can set up a free account from the eSignToday homepage. Next, they upload a Word document or PDF that they want you to sign and enter the email address of everyone who needs to esign the document.

You’ll get an email asking you to esign the document (which you can view). You can do this on your computer or phone.

Best of all, using an online esignature service is cheaper than you might think. eSignToday costs just $0.50/esignature and there is never a monthly fee!

How to Esign a Word Document

You can esign Microsoft Word documents easily
You can esign Microsoft Word documents easily.

Microsoft Word has long been the world’s most popular word processor. Businesses and individuals have drawn up countless contracts with Word. But, how do you esign a Word document?

Word Does Not Have Built In Esignatures

Microsoft Word does not have built-in esignatures. Microsoft Word was first released in 1983, and – while it has been refined vastly over the decades – it predates the recent popularity of esignatures.

It is Easy to Esign a Word Document

Though Word itself doesn’t support esignatures, it is super easy to get your Word document esigned. The key is to use an online esignature service. You might be surprised by how easy and inexpensive these services are.

Often the process is two steps:

  1. Upload your Word document
  2. List the email addresses of everyone who needs to sign

While there are many esignature services that allow you to esign Word documents – such as DocuSign and Adobe Sign – one of the least expensive is eSignToday. eSignToday just charges a flat rate of $0.50/esignature with no monthly fee. In contract, DocuSign charges $10/mo or more whether or not you use the service in a particular month.

Microsoft Word has always been a great tool for creating contracts. Using Microsoft Word to esign documents is cheaper and easier than you think.

eSignToday is a Top Choice for Electronic Signatures

eSignToday for electronic signatures
eSignToday is a top choice for electronic signatures because of its affordability and simplicity.

As we’ve addressed in our blog, there is a lot of choice among electronic signature software. Finding the right solution for you can take time as each one is unique. We want to save you some time, so we will address the uniqueness of eSignToday for your esignature needs: Affordability and Simplicity!

eSignToday is Affordable (aka Cheap)

As you research various electronic signature software, you will quickly realize how eSignToday’s pricing is one of the few if not the only one where pricing is on a flat fee basis. Other electronic signature software like DocuSign or PandaDoc charge you based on a monthly subscription. Many times, you end up paying much more than your esigning needs require because of the monthly subscription obligation. DocuSign’s pricing for real estate starts at $10 per month for a single user, so you’re already having to pay at least $120 a year. There are no monthly subscriptions with eSignToday. You only pay $0.50 for each signature you need. That’s it. Yes, it really is that cheap.

eSignToday is Simple (aka Easy to use)

eSignToday is not laced with bells and whistles, which can be confusing, overkill, and complicated. Instead, eSignToday’s focus is strictly on getting esignatures on your document. Most other electronic signature software, like RightSignature, requires you to “drag and drop” fields throughout your document where the signer needs to complete, like date and name. With eSignToday, you simply upload your own document, which can be a PDF, Google Docs, or a Microsoft Word file. Then, you list the email addresses of those who need to sign the document, and then you send it off. In turn, eSignToday will put all of the signatures you need on the last page of your document. That’s it. Yes, it really is that simple and easy to use.

In addressing eSignToday’s unique qualities of affordability and simplicity, we hope we have saved you some time when considering which electronic signature software to use. Setting up an account with eSignToday is easy and free, so we encourage you to try it out for your esignature needs!

DocuSign Alternatives

Docusign alternatives - what the choices
There are choices other than Docusign for esignatures.

As one of the first entrants in the electronic signature market, DocuSign has a proven reputation. In another post, we discussed how DocuSign is a fairly expensive option if you only need a few signatures a year. Depending on your esignature needs, DocuSign is a valid option, but it isn’t the only choice. There is a lot of choice today in the esignature software world. Here are three DocuSign alternatives we think are worth serious consideration:

eSignToday

The two most distinguishing differences of eSignToday compared to other electronic signature software are its cost and simplicity. There are NO monthly subscriptions with eSignToday. Instead, you only pay $0.50 for each signature that you need. The flat fee pricing of just 50 cents per signature is hard to beat. As for simplicity, you simply upload your document, email whoever needs to sign, and all signatures appear on the last page of your document. There is no “drag and drop” or fields to enter with eSignToday. eSignToday is a very easy to use tool where all you need are esignatures.

PandaDoc

PandaDoc’s focus is on the business/enterprise level given the features available to help drive revenue and close deals. While their solutions have an esignature component, Pandadoc also helps businesses with document automation to improve workflow. They offer a variety of plans, which vary by available features.

HelloSign

Now part of DropBox, HelloSign has you first upload your document that needs to be signed. Then, you have to drag and insert fields such as names and dates into the areas of your document you want signed, so you can customize your document as necessary. HelloSign has different pricing plans depending of the features and capabilities with document creation and integration.

Finding the right esignature software is important, and knowing that DocuSign is not the only choice is helpful. From a very affordable and easy to use eSignToday to a more robust and integrated solution like HelloSign, there are definitely DocuSign alternatives to consider.

Why Small Landlords Should Not Esign Leases with Docusign

Docusign is one of the most popular services out there for esignatures. But, for small landlords, esigning leases using Docusign has a huge problem that is hard to overlook: a high price which is even worse than you think the more you do the math.

Esignatures Make Sense

It makes a lot of sense to esign a lease – it is safe, convenient, and way faster than dealing with paper, printers, and stamps. However, for the large number of small landlords who have one to ten properties, Docusign is expensive.

Docusign is Pricey

  1. A landlord is likely to do either a new lease or lease extension for every property they have yearly. So, for a small landlord with five units, that is five leases or extensions per year.
  2. Docusign’s pricing for real estate starts at $10 per month for a single user and is limited to 5 documents per month! If you need something more (let’s say one month per year you do more than five leases), the plan price doubles to $20 per month. So, a Docusign plan for a small landlord will be at least $120 per year, and sometimes $240/year.
  3. For a landlord who has five leases or lease extensions to esign per year, the cost per esigned document works out to $24 per document on Docusign’s least expensive plan ($120/5). That is incredibly expensive!

While Docusign is pricey, there is no reason a small landlord should be denied the benefits of esignatures – such as the ability for roommates to sign a lease document on their smartphones and without the need for a printer.

eSignToday is an Affordable Lease Signing Solution

eSignToday brings the advantages of esigning leases and lease extensions to small landlords at a reasonable flat rate price. With eSignToday there is NEVER a monthly fee. Just pay a flat $0.50/esignature. If you and your tenants esign five leases or lease extensions with eSignToday, the price is around $5/yr (you and your tenant esign 5 online documents … which is 2 x 5 x $0.50/esignature) versus Docusign’s $120/yr – a savings of $115/yr!

Set up up an account at eSignToday.com and enjoy an affordable esignature service that is priced perfectly for small landlords and their leasing needs. With eSignToday, you’ll save year in and year out over Docusign.

Electronic Signatures for Lease Agreements

Tradition (some call it routine) plays a large role in how we do things even if it’s not an efficient process. While change can be difficult, it can also be highly rewarding to the point that we tell ourselves later, “Self, why didn’t I make that change earlier? My life would have been so much easier!” In today’s era of technology and mobility, landlords are recognizing the benefits of electronic signatures for lease agreements and taking the leap to incorporate them into running a successful rental property business.

Benefit #1: Save Time

Probably the most significant and noticeable benefit for landlords using electronic signatures for lease agreements is the time they will save. With esignatures and online leases, landlords eliminate all of the steps involved with a traditional paper method – printing leases, meeting tenants for signing, making copies for all parties, and filing them in a cabinet. Just the time for travel and meeting tenants for a signature can be significant, especially if landlords do not live near their rental property. With an esignature service like eSignToday, landlords email the lease, tenants esign on their phones, and all parties receive a fully signed lease, which is also automatically stored. Electronic signatures make the entire lease signing process fast, painless, and highly efficient.

Benefit #2: Improve Document Management

Electronically signed lease agreements can easily be stored on your own digital device or in your electronic signature service account. By eliminating paper and going electronic, you have better storage and retrieval. Plus, you save money and help the environment.

Benefit #3: Build Reputation

Just like landlords, tenants also want to make their lives easier. Because esigning a lease agreement is fast and easy, tenants are happy when they can esign on their smartphones while on the move. They don’t have to take time to meet the landlord and wait for a signed copy. Esigning the lease agreement is simple. Happy tenants will recommend their landlord to others, which can lead to fewer vacancies and overall easier landlording.

Take the Leap

When it comes to finding the right electronic signature software for landlords, there is a lot of choice. Factors such as cost and ease of use will help determine which tool to use. Nevertheless, electronic signatures for lease agreements are highly beneficial for landlords looking to save time, improve operational efficiencies, and build strong tenant relationships.

The Best Electronic Signature Software

The ability to electronically review and sign documents is a huge benefit for all parties involved. The elimination of paper and printers and the time savings with document delivery are just a few of the many benefits. Federally compliant esignatures are valid and legally binding, and they are treated similarly to how a paper-based handwritten signature would be treated. Whether you search the Web for “esignature”, “electronic signature”, or even “digital signature”, you’ll see there are a lot of different providers, all with their own pros and cons. Considerations such as cost, user-friendliness, and notifications will drive decisions. Here is a snapshot of the best electronic signature software today:

Summary of the Best Esignature Software

SoftwareHighlights
eSignTodayInexpensive esignature @ $0.50 each
– Upload own document
– Signatures and dates on last page
– No complex drag and drop or field completion required
– Created by ClearNow, an online rent payment service
HelloSign– A DropBox company
– Drag and drop fields into document
– Paid plans start at $20/month
SignNow– Plans range from $20/month to $50/month
– Features, like custom branding, vary by plan
Pandadoc– Products serve the business/enterprise level
– Helps businesses with document automation
Paid plans start at $25/month
DocuSign– Early entrant in esignature industry – since 2003
– Vast feature set and good for complex esigning needs
– Plans start at $15/month
RightSignature– Early entrant like DocuSign
– Drag and drop fields into document
– Plans start at $15/month but need to call to get started

Esignature Software in Detail

eSignToday: eSignToday sets itself apart from other esignature software by its low cost and simplicity. At just $0.50/esignature, there are no monthly fees – you simply pay for each signature that you need. Because of its affordable esigning, there is no free trial. If you want to try it out, you’ll just pay 50 cents. In terms of simplicity, eSignToday walks you through four simple steps where you upload your own document and add the email address of each person who needs to esign. Esignatures appear on the last page along with each signer’s name and the signature date. You eliminate extra time inputting fields and asking signers to complete those fields.

HelloSign: Now part of DropBox, HelloSign has you first upload your document that needs to be signed. Then, you have to drag and insert fields such as names and dates into the areas of your document you want signed. HelloSign has different pricing plans including a free version with a maximum of three signatures per month. After their free version, plans start at $20/month (or $15/month if you pay the annual amount up front).

SignNow: Similar to HelloSign, you drag and drop fields throughout your documents where you need the signer to complete. SignNow focuses its products on the business/enterprise user, and their pricing plans reflect such. Starting at $20/month and going up to $50/month (billed monthly), each plan varies in the features available to the user such as custom branding and bulk sending. If you need a lot of signatures and looking to keep costs low, SignNow’s plans are a consideration.

Pandadoc: Pandadoc’s focus is on the business/enterprise level given the features available to help drive revenue and close deals. While their solutions have an esignature component, Pandadoc also helps businesses with document automation to improve workflow. They offer a free plan just for esigning and three paid plans starting at $25/month (or $19/month if you pay annually). Support is not available “24/7” for the free plan.

Docusign: The granddaddy of esignature software is DocuSign. DocuSign has evolved beyond simple esigning into document automation and contract analytics. Its feature set is vast and geared for complex esigning needs. DocuSign has a number of differently priced plans ranging from esignature plans to API plans. Their least expensive plan starts at $15/month (or $10/month if you pay annually).

RightSignature: Up there with DocuSign as one of the early entrants to the esignature arena is RightSignature. RightSignature offers a variety of options for companies of varying sizes where users upload documents and drag and drop fields within the document before sending it off for completion. Though RightSignature has plans starting at $15/month ($10/month if you pay annually), you have to call them to get started.

Conclusion

While we’ve highlighted the best electronic signature software, there is a lot of choice when it comes to selecting the best tool for you. Factors such as cost and ease-of-use will play a role in your decision to select one over the other. Free trials or cheap esign services, like eSignToday, allow you to try out different esignature services without breaking the bank. More complex and feature-rich software like DocuSign and RightSignature may satisfy your needs but at a higher price point. Nevertheless, the list of electronic signature software grows and esignature tools are available for the individual user all the way up to the enterprise-level user.

An Easy and Cheap Esignature Service

When you have documents to sign, an esignature service makes a ton of sense. Anyone can sign at any time, and any where . . . on a phone, tablet, or laptop. Esignatures eliminate printers, paper, and delays.

Unfortunately, while there are many esignature services, most are not affordable as many of them (for example, DocusignAdobe Sign, or HelloSign) require a monthly subscription. So if you only need one or two signatures a month, paying $15/month or more is overkill. Or, if one month you’re doing a lot of esignatures and the next month none or few, why keep paying for an expensive esignature service?

There is no monthly subscription with eSignToday. Instead, you pay $0.50 for each signature you need. That’s it.

eSignToday is available to anyone who needs a document signed, and it’s easy and cheap:

  1. Set up a free account at eSignToday.com
  2. Upload your document
  3. Email the document to each person who needs to sign it
  4. View a fully signed document where all signatures appear on the last page.

eSignToday is an innovative service from ClearNow. Since 2000, ClearNow has made online rent payment easy and affordable for landlords and tenants.