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
|– Inexpensive 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
|– A DropBox company
– Drag and drop fields into document
– Paid plans start at $20/month
|– Plans range from $20/month to $50/month
– Features, like custom branding, vary by plan
|– Products serve the business/enterprise level
– Helps businesses with document automation
– Paid plans start at $25/month
|– Early entrant in esignature industry – since 2003
– Vast feature set and good for complex esigning needs
– Plans start at $15/month
|– 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. 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 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.
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.