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What is E-Signature Software?

E-signature is an electronic method that helps an individual to show his agreement to the conditions and terms of an electronic service. It can also be used to confirm the identity of the message's creator. In this respect, digital signatures can be considered the same as stamped seals and handwritten signatures. Show moreIn today’s business environment, digital signatures are used mostly in regulatory filings and e-commerce because they are considered to be highly secure. Many countries give the same legal importance and significance to e-signatures as they do to traditional ways of executing documents. We urge you to learn more about the features of the tools in this category – including PandaDoc which holds the top position among them.Show less

How was this ranking made?

In order to prepare this list of best E-Signature Software we have checked 240 various tools currently present on the market, comparing their features, ease of implementation, client service, available integrations with other systems and mobile support using our unique SmartScoreTM rating system. This ranking has been prepared by Nestor Gilbert, our B2B authority dedicated to the E-Signature Software category.

List of Top 12 E-Signature Software

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1. PandaDoc

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 95%

This cloud-based document management application fully supports paperless operations. It offers standard and advanced features such as document building, file-sharing, multiple document format support (PDF, Word Documents, etc.), and more. It is also equipped with electronic signature technology.

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2. Docsketch

Our score: 8.7 User satisfaction: 97%

Docsketch is an electronic signature tool for efficient document management and facilitates quick and easy signing. It also enables the monitoring, tracking, and archiving of signed documents.

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3. SignRequest

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 100%

A cloud-based electronic signature solution that allows users to affix legally binding digital signatures to different types of documents using various devices. Offering both free and paid versions, this lets users send and sign documents, secure audit trails, and brand files.

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4. Zoho Sign

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 97%

An effective electronic signature software that enables you to sign documents securely and reliably. Equipped with military-grade security and compliant with eSignature laws, this simple, and intuitive tool brings together the features you need to sign, send, or manage documents with ease.

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5. SignNow

Our score: 8.7 User satisfaction: 100%

A robust solution that provides the tools you need to append electronic signatures on your document anytime, anywhere and on any device. The platform allows you to establish complex signature workflows, where you can send bulk invites, share documents with teammates, and track their status in one hub

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6. DocuSign

Our score: 8.6 User satisfaction: 98%

A powerful electronic signature solution built to help users send, sign, and manage documents. The platform packs a suite of robust tools including electronic signature, contract lifecycle management, document generation and negotiation, and agreement analytics to enable companies to streamline the agreement process.

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7. e-SignLive

Our score: 8.5 User satisfaction: 100%

A powerful electronic signature software designed by OneSpan to deliver exceptional document signing experience. It comes equipped with robust tools that accelerate the entire agreement process to enhance customer experience, eliminate the cost of the paper-based processes, and strengthen compliance.

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8. eSign+

Our score: 8.4 User satisfaction: 100%

An electronic signature software built for small and medium-sized organizations, as well as for personal use. Boasting a comprehensive feature set, eSign+ makes it fast and simple for companies to add legally-binding signatures while ensuring the highest level of security and compliance.

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9. RightSignature

Our score: 8.4 User satisfaction: 100%

A reliable e-signature solution that streamlines the entire process of getting documents signed. It makes it easy to upload and send contracts or documents you need to get signed. Plus, signers don’t need to print out documents, they simply add an electronic signature using any device.

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10. Sertifi

Our score: 8.3 User satisfaction: 100%

An innovative e-signature solution that streamlines the agreement process. Sertifi is great for those who want to simplify the process of signing documents and accelerate the sales process. It gives companies a secure way to get contracts signed to process payments faster without flouting PCI regulations.

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11. Contractually

Our score: 7.4 User satisfaction: 91%

Contractually helps people work better together, both inside and outside your organization and helps you manage all your contracts in one place.

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12. Nitro Cloud

Our score: 8.0 User satisfaction: 98%

Nitro Cloud helps business collect legally binding and secure electronic signatures and approvals in seconds. As many as you need, included with every subscription.

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In the event you didn't find just the solution you were looking for here's a list of various categories similar to E-Signature Software that you might want to browse through:

E-Signature Software Guide

Table of contents

Digital signature is a facilitating confirmation option, but also an online mechanism for trustworthy validation of critical information. Tracking and storing documents is way easier than signing folders in a dusty archive, while faking signatures becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible. The cream of the crop is that digital e-signing software for enterprises automates the workflow by providing a set of pre-made templates you can distribute instead of drafting special ones for every occasion. Besides, the transition to paper-free business is a painless and smooth process, assuming you’ve chosen the best e-signature tools that integrate with other apps and document-related services you’re using. That’s exactly what this guide is trying to help you achieve.

Get to know each product with free trial

A good course of action is to sign up for at least a few free trials or demo or basic unpaid plans from popular e-signature software providers. With this method you will have the opportunity to test the important elements and get a good comparison of the capabilities of each app. The best thing to do is to try software tools that currently have the highest rankings in the SmartScore and Customer Satisfaction Rating in our e-signature tools reviews: e-SignLive reviews, SkySignature, Nitro Cloud, GetAccept, Motiv, zipLogix Digital Ink, and Sign-n-Send or look for some free electronic signature software to try out first.

Targeted Businesses

E-signing of business documents is another digital transaction management service that has pushed its way into the tool kits of businesses from all scales and industries. Therefore, e-signing software programs can be useful to every company, in particular:

  • Small companies that are wasting time signing paperwork. Saving time is the most flexible advantage of e-signature software platforms, mostly welcomed by small and starting businesses that need to simplify their contracting process and focus on more important tasks. At the same time, these programs are affordable, meaning that a limited-budget company doesn’t have to spend a fortune to sign papers quickly and safely.
  • Medium companies that could use better reputation. Even a well-suited one should think of engaging with a reliable provider for its further deals. SSL certified e-signing software provides the appropriate controls and safeguards that can make every brand more credible and reliable.
  • Large companies with archiving problems. E-signature software can solve archiving problems too, as copies of e-signed documents are automatically saved in a database, easy to browse and alter, and protected to the extent of complete exclusion of the need to keep paperwork.

What are Examples of E-Signature Software?

  • Adobe eSign Services: A great enterprise solution that accelerates signing and managing documents, and integrates with a range of popular business systems.
  • DocuSign: A digital signing platform suitable for small businesses and individuals, known by its capacity to accelerate ROI and by its powerful mobile optimization.
  • e-SignLive: A  smart product from an experienced e-signature service provider that can be used by businesses from all scales and industries.
  • RightSignature: Offers a simple interface, but allows for typed and handwritten signatures. Its collection fields can be easily customized and shared via emails.
  • EchoSign: This is another powerful Adobe product that accelerates contract signing by approximately 80%. It is very easy to use and has a robust feature set.
  • PandaDoc: A powerful, cloud-based document management software built to support paperless operations. The platform provides a robust digital signature feature to help users sign documents online with ease.

Types of E-Signature Software

There are three basic types of e-signing software tools, varying from free, open-source suites to ultra costly and accurate locally hosted ones. Features can also be categorization criteria, as certain programs do nothing but to offer digital signature, while others are more robust and allow users to handwrite papers, type signatures, and even do some custom branding:

  • On-premise e-signature programs. These are covered with a single license, and hosted on the client’s local server. They qualify as the most expensive ones, due to the fact that they require complex setup and occasionally, some hardware installation.
  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) e-signature programs. These are usually paid per month, and hosted on the vendor’s server. The business owner is not responsible for installation, updating, and maintenance.
  • Open-source e-signature programs. Most of these offer free basic plans, and qualify as the most affordable ones due to their universal access and the fact that the client doesn’t need to update them or pay for maintenance.

Key Features of E-Signature Software

The list of features of different e-signature systems varies significantly, but it is still possible to choose a few that are most vital for every business:

  • Security. When e-signing documents, we’re actually transacting personal information online, which makes security an imperative feature for every e-signer. Information must be technically protected, and access must be secured with multi-approved privileges and proactive protection policies.
  • Privacy. Even if the program is used by multiple employees at a time, each of them should rely on his right to reveal information selectively, and to do transactions discreetly.
  • Compliance. Signing papers in a program must comply with industry policies, standards, laws, and regulations. Note that using one that doesn’t clearly comply with the requirements of your industry can face legal consequences, and you’re activating it at your own responsibility.
  • Audit Trail. The function is vital for enforceability, and without it you’re very likely risking to sign papers in a non-reputable and non-reliable manner.
  • Scalability. Most e-signature programs are designed to respond to multiple businesses and industries, because of scalability, which allows them to accept increased volumes of documents without performance being obstructed.
  • Notification and reminders. E-signature software offers notification and reminders to inform signers and document owners about the progress of the agreement and signature process.

Benefits of E-Signature Software

After in-depth comparisons, we found that these are the main benefits that a good e-signature system can offer:

  • Savings. You may be a fan of the good old ways, but your options are getting thinner: you can either go with the flow, or continue paying senseless amounts to keep paper-based business alive. Scanning, printing, and couriering documents can be hard for the budget of large corporations, and waste precious time chasing signers around the office.
  • Better user-experience. Customers are neither indifferent to digital signing, nor would they refuse such a facilitating service as doing business online. You’re relieving them big time by eliminating the need to download, install, or print stuff, and you give them a real-time chance to sign papers from private homes, hiking excursions, subways, or while waiting for the traffic light to change.
  • Upgraded Security. Summing up, you’re finally showing some actual will to upgrade document security, which is among the best things you can do for the sake of your reputation. Customers no longer trust safety locks and cabinets, but digital evidence with tamper-evident seals that notify them of every alteration in the content/lifecycle of a document. In fact, most digital signature providers keep track of who is downloading a document, something you would never know doing stuff the traditional way.

Focus shifting to simplicity: When electronic signature software came, everyone was pleased with the speed with which they helped documents get signed. Initially, the solutions were designed to work seamlessly on desktop devices. As technology continues to evolve, mobile devices have become ubiquitous, while on the other hand, the mobile and remote workforces are slowly becoming a mainstay. 

As a result, the need to have the ability to sign documents anytime, anywhere, and on any device has become apparent. Today, people want to have the freedom to sign documents virtually anywhere on the desktop when in the office or mobile devices while on the move. We’re seeing the advent of solutions that enable customers, employees, and partners to sign documents incredibly fast. 

More emphasis on data security: By digitizing document signing, businesses enjoy incredible benefits related to convenience, speed, and accuracy. However, this comes at a price. Apparently, fraudsters and cybercriminals have developed cunning ways to intercept sensitive company information. They are hovering around waiting to make the most of any vulnerability in the system. 

The nature of information and documents shared via e-signature platforms makes them a prime target for the ill-minded. And this makes security an important aspect of these systems. Digital signature providers have taken note, and so have relevant bodies. Beyond giving you complete control over the document workflows, the systems are now designed to meet the necessary security measures. 

Easy integration: The document you want people to sign stream from various departments, including, HR, customer relationships, and sales. If the e-signature solution doesn’t work in synergy with the apps and solutions used by these departments, then there will be a problem. Vendors have taken this fact into account, and today, we have solutions that integrate with nearly every third-party solution in your software stack.

Potential issues

Compliance with the latest electronic signature laws: Contracts do end in rows that spill over into the corridor of justice. The last thing you want is the court to nullify it on grounds that e-signing software used flouted an electronic signature law. 

Always ensure the software solution you’re using is compliant with all the latest laws. If it’s in the US, the solution ought to adhere to the eIDAS and ESIGN regulations. On the other hand, businesses in Europe should ensure the software is compliant with the EU Directive 1999/93/EC.

Ability to track change: A change as simple as replacing “I” with “you” in a statement can alter the meaning of a clause in the contract. The problem can even be more complex when the person on the other end decided to sneak in an additional clause. A good electronic signature should provide a robust audit system to enable you to track all the changes made during the agreement process. 

Software vulnerabilities: This is by far one of the biggest concerns when it comes to signing documents electronically. The software solutions connect the document owner and the signer (s). However, there is always a risk of uninvited guests or intruders who sniff around to steal vital details. 

Letting your document or digital signature fall into the wrong hands can have serious ramifications. In addition to jeopardizing your company’s position, it can push you into complex lawsuits. To prevent these problems from besetting your organization, you need to ensure your software solution offers high-level security.

List of E-Signature Software Companies

Order by:

Newest
  • Newest
  • Score
  • User Score
Product name:
Category:
Smart Score:
Price:
User Satisf.
User reviews:
Docsketch reviews

Docsketch

E-Signature Software
8.7
$8
97%
HoneyBook reviews

HoneyBook

E-Signature Software
8.8
$34
97%
DottedSign reviews

DottedSign

E-Signature Software
8.0
$9.99
100%
emSigner reviews

emSigner

E-Signature Software
8.1
$12
-
PleaseSign reviews

PleaseSign

E-Signature Software
8.0
$15
100%
SignOnDoc reviews

SignOnDoc

E-Signature Software
8.0
$0.99
94%
InsureSign reviews

InsureSign

E-Signature Software
7.8
$19.95
-
OneSpan reviews

OneSpan

E-Signature Software
8.5
$20
100%
Signaturit reviews

Signaturit

E-Signature Software
8.0
€15
100%
Secured Signing reviews

Secured Signing

E-Signature Software
8.0
$9.95
-
Zoho Sign reviews

Zoho Sign

E-Signature Software
8.9
$10
97%
TRUESigner Enterprise reviews

TRUESigner Enterprise

E-Signature Software
8.0
By quote
90%
NEWOLDSTAMP reviews

NEWOLDSTAMP

E-Signature Software
8.2
$4.50
100%
ZorroSign reviews

ZorroSign

E-Signature Software
8.0
$10
-
Adobe Sign reviews

Adobe Sign

E-Signature Software
8.2
$14.99
98%

Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

Pricing details are a key consideration when you analyze SaaS vendors. Ask the provider if they offer price protection and contractual flexibility. “Shelfware” has become a major problem in SaaS licensing as customers end up shelling out for more than they need. Plus, to get pricing predictability, customers are forced to subscribe to long-term contracts. Make sure you don’t get saddled with long-term licensing and get locked in for a long time with a single vendor. Ask about easy exit policies that assist you to migrate to another provider if you are not satisfied with the services offered by the current one. Select a vendor that offers a convenient standard annual termination facility as well as long-term cost protection.

Another important factor to consider is whether the cloud vendor meets compliance and security requirements. Your firm is answerable to employees, consumers, business partners, and regulators. Therefore, you should pick a vendor that has adopted a technically sound and comprehensive security system. Map your security control requirements such as availability, integrity, confidentiality, privacy, and accountability to the vendor’s capabilities. Ask the potential vendor about the processes and systems they use to protect your confidential data. Do they meet general as well as industry-specific compliance and security regulations? Do they offer special measures to meet the unique security needs of your specific industry? Get satisfactory answers to these questions before you make the investment.

Frequently asked questions about E-Signature Software

What is the best E-Signature Software?

The best e-signature software is PandaDoc. This is a powerful solution designed to help sales teams generate, send, negotiate, and sign contracts, proposals, and quotes. To accelerate the deal cycle, the platform blends the power of a drag-and-drop document builder, built-in electronic signatures, workflow management tools, and  CPQ functionality. 

PandaDoc offers an intuitive interface that is easy to use for all users, including the non-tech savvy. The interface is home to the drag-and-drop editor, which makes it super easy to create professional-looking proposals, contracts, and quotes. Besides, the platform is easy to manage and tracks documents as they progress from proposal to deal closing.

In addition to automating the signing flow, PandaDoc allows reviewers to collaborate to expedite the approval process. Tools such as version tracking, redlining, and commenting make the entire approval process fast and effective. Beyond that, the platform offers stunning branding and customization options. You can easily change the themes and on-brand styles to match your company branding. 

What are the benefits of E-Signature Software?

E-signature software is mainly designed to automate and simplify proposals, quotes, and contract signing processes. In doing so, the platforms save time and money and offer a host of other benefits which include:

Improved customer experience: Humans are hardwired to gravitate towards services that are convenient. Document signing happens to fall in this category of services, and your customers are innately craving the ability to sign documents anytime, anywhere. Luckily, e-signature software is designed to meet this need.

Expedited payments: It’s simple. The speed with which you create proposals or quotes and get them signed determines how fast you receive payments. There isn’t a better way to get documents signed faster than using e-signature software. 

Improved document accuracy: By inserting mandatory fields in the digital contracts, it means that the customer can never miss signing a page. 

Better workflow tracking: Besides, signing documents electronically means it is easy to tell who opened, changed, signed, or approved a contract or proposal. Some solutions provide the IP address of the signer and accurate time and date stamps. 

Usability across industries: E-signature provides customizable templates to be used across various industries. You don’t even have to worry about the location of the signer since everything is happening in the cloud. 

Centralized document storage: In addition, e-signature solutions provide a central document repository. So, the risk of misplacing a document is thrown out of the equation. Plus, if you need a document, you don’t have to search your desk, file cabinets, or pile. You just type the file name to find it in seconds.

What are the features of E-Signature Software?

E-signature software solutions are not created equal, and their disparities are clearly evident in the features they offer. In this sense, some platforms offer more advanced features than others. Regardless of all the difference, all signatures have some key features which include:

Document signing: This feature forms the backbone of every e-signature software. Document signing features allow you to create, import and send documents to have them signed. 

Workflow management: This is the feature that allows you to stipulate the stages of document signing. It’s particularly important when dealing with documents that need to be signed by multiple signers. 

Audit trails: Audit trails provide comprehensive details and reports about the changes made on documents. They let you know who signed the document when they signed it, and also pinpoint other changes made by the recipients. 

Regulatory compliance: Unlike other features, this isn’t a feature that you use in the process of getting the document signed. It lies in the background, but it’s paramount if you care about adherence to industry standards and regulations. 

Integrations: Integrations with applications such as billing, HR, CRM, and more smooths out the entire document signing process. 

Mobile apps: Mobile apps provide the speed and efficiency that today’s customers, employees, and partners want. It gives them the convenience to act on documents as soon as they arrive in their inbox. With the apps, customers can easily sign documents whether they are in the subway station, coffee shop, or a grocery store.

What is the easiest E-Signature Software to use?

The easiest e-signature software should be simple enough for both parties to create and send documents. Besides, it should make it easy for the signers to access and append digital signatures on the document. In this sense, there are three products that make the cut:

SignRequest. A reliable electronic signature built to help organizations expedite the document signing process. Whether you want to sign the documents yourself or get them signed by others, the platform has the tools to make the entire process smooth and painless. It also works with popular apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Zapier, and Dropbox in a bid to make the process faster. 

eSign+. This is purposely built for individuals, small businesses, and medium-sized enterprises. As you would expect, the solution has a set of easy to use tools. In addition, it allows you to get documents signed in three simple steps, namely send, sign, and track. Plus, the customizable templates make it easy to create documents with your custom branding. 

RightSignature. This electronic signature software is easy to use for you and the clients. Its one-of-a-kind automatic field detection allows you to prepare documents in just a single click. The client has the convenience to sign documents anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

What is a good free E-Signature Software?

If you are looking for a good solution for personal use or your startup or small business, you can always try solutions that offer a free plan. Here are three of them:

PandaDoc. The free plan offers access to the features you need to electronically sign documents. The plan is quite generous and there is no limit to the number of users, documents you can upload, or the signatures you can add. 

SignRequest. With the free plan, you can get up to 10 documents signed per month. Beyond that, SignRequest allows the signers to sign documents on any device, plus ,it provides secure audit trails. Since it supports up to 15 languages, the platform can help you close deals with clients from different countries and regions. 

Zoho Sign. The free plan is packed with a plethora of basic features, even though it’s meant for a single user. This is best for personal use or startups that need to sign less than 5 documents a month. With the plan, you can import or export documents from your favorite cloud apps.

Nestor Gilbert

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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