The e-signature software market took flight before the COVID-19 pandemic, but global shutdowns cemented its usefulness and convenience.
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce, or ESIGN, Act in 2000 set e-signature's legal requirements. Before 2020, many businesses used e-signature software at least once per month. Then, remote work brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption and use of e-signature software, and experts expect the market to grow more over the next decade.
E-signature software offers various benefits for organizations, like improved performance and reduced costs. Paper usage also decreases, which is better for the environment, and e-signatures offer convenience and avoid having users print out, sign, scan and mail documents.
However, not all e-signature software is the same. As organizations evaluate options, they should consider how they'll use the software, its integrations and whether it offers a mobile app, which can be essential for consumer-facing businesses. Organizations should also examine contract and document templates that require signatures, as well as their signing processes.
Six e-signature software products stood out in the market after examining several professional and user reviews. Explore their standout features, their challenges, who they work best for and pricing information.
As a Dropbox company, HelloSign can neatly integrate into Dropbox. It can also integrate with Salesforce to make it easier to sign proposals and contracts, as well as HubSpot, Google Workspace, Slack and Microsoft SharePoint, among other tools.
HelloSign enables users to embed e-signatures into websites or apps using APIs and can automate employee onboarding and hiring processes. It includes templates and bulk send features to more easily collect signatures.
The software stores and organizes documents after signing and offers templates that users can reuse. The platform is mobile-friendly, with notification and reminder options. Yet, some challenges include the UI, customer service and lacking direct integration with Microsoft Word.
The HelloSign Essentials plan -- designed for individuals -- starts at $15 per month. The Standard version, geared toward teams, starts at $25 per user per month.
As part of DocuSign Agreement Cloud, a contract lifecycle management system, DocuSign gears its e-signature software toward companies that handle a lot of contracts. The software has a mobile-responsive web app to simplify how parties sign agreements, supports document routing to multiple parties and lets users create reusable templates with standard and customizable fields.
DocuSign uses APIs to integrate with over 350 apps, including Microsoft Office, Salesforce, Zoom, SAP, Google and Oracle products. The platform is user-friendly, offers multilanguage support and enables visibility into who views and signs documents. Still, users can't download multiple documents at once with this software, and it can't integrate with other PDF apps.
DocuSign pricing starts at $10 per month for the Personal plan and $25 per user per month for the Standard plan.
3. Adobe Sign
Most Adobe Acrobat users are familiar with its e-signature capabilities, but full access to those features requires a software purchase. Adobe Sign lets recipients sign documents without downloading anything. Like other e-signature platforms, Adobe Sign integrates with a variety of tools, including Salesforce, Zoho CRM, SAP SuccessFactors, Microsoft apps and Box, among others.
Users can create digital forms on their websites and integrate Adobe Sign for signatures. The software also offers a mobile app to scan and upload PDFs, along with customizable templates, notifications and reminders. Adobe Sign is easy to use, has responsive customer support and simplifies how users upload a signature.
However, the mobile app can be clunky, and its features can overwhelm some users -- making Adobe Sign a better choice for enterprise customers. It also lacks integration capabilities beyond its existing choices.
Adobe Sign's pricing for teams starts at $14.99 per user per month.
As a private cloud e-signature software provider, SignNow enables users to add e-signatures to various forms, documents and templates, including PDFs, Word documents and contracts. The software uses APIs for integration to websites, CRM systems and other apps.
SignNow enables conditional documents, which means organizations can set documents to route by role. It also enables team collaboration to create documents and templates and lets users add custom branding to documents. The platform is easy to use and supports e-signature management for multiple documents. It's also easy to sign documents from mobile phones.
Yet, the software presents challenges. The documents don't open immediately and instead prompt the recipient to download the file. It also lacks a commenting feature for users to provide feedback before signing.
SignNow's pricing starts at $8 per user per month.
Organizations looking for e-signature software with a lot of features may consider PandaDoc. It offers a mobile app so users can track documents' statuses and get notified when someone opens, views, comments on or signs a document. The software also offers a template library with over 450 contract, proposal and invoice templates, and users can drag and drop elements into documents to create their own templates.
The PandaDoc API lets users integrate with third-party apps, and users can add it to PDFs and Word documents. It offers pre-built integrations with apps like Salesforce, Zapier, Zoho, HubSpot and Dropbox.
The software is easy to use, especially for creating documents. However, the signing space is small and may benefit from more out-of-the-box integrations.
PandaDoc offers a free e-signature package that lets users upload, send and collect payment for unlimited documents. Paid plans start at $19 per user per month and include templates, document editors and analytics.
Like its counterparts, ReadySign's e-signature software includes customizable templates and forms. It can also create an AnySign link, which lets signers opt in to sign the forms they need. Other features include bulk sending, notifications, reminders, custom signatures, document management to organize signed forms and user management with role-based permissions.
ReadySign is easy to use, cost-effective, enables a comprehensive audit trail and offers responsive customer service. However, controlling the reminders can cause challenges, and the search features are not easy to use. Also, the vendor's website lacks integration information.
ReadySign's pricing starts at $25 per user per month for 10 users. The 40-user plan is $10 per user per month, and the 100-user plan is $6 per user per month.