The Best Electronic Signature Software in 2021
Electronic Signatures, also known as eSignatures, have gained popularity as companies continue to move towards digital workflow solutions. E-signing has especially taken off as remote work has become more common, and signers are more likely to be in a Zoom call than in your office. This technology has evolved to be easier to use with new features like mobile device compatibility, CRM integration, and API customizations.
A variety of business sectors use eSignature platforms. Law firms use electronic signatures to ensure legal compliance with their signed documents. Human resources can use an eSignature solution for onboarding documentation with remote employees. Even real-estate, marketing, and sales teams use eSignature technology to help speed up document finalization processes.
What Makes a Good e-Signature App?
A quality eSignature software will, first and foremost, help your office speed up the signature collection process. These programs streamline signature sending, authentication, and filing. eSignature apps also cut down on mailing and shipping costs related to sending physical documents to recipients.
When looking for the best digital signature software options for your company, you should consider the necessary steps in your workflow. Many programs have different features and additional integrations that can help streamline your processes beyond digital signatures.
eSignature Features to Look For
While you are identifying the features that will best benefit your business, make sure to explore all of your options. eSignature programs have different functions depending on the provider. Some solutions include features like document management storage solutions, customizable templates, and mobile app integration. To determine which features you need, consider the essential needs of your business. For example, a medical institution should look specifically for software that can withstand HIPAA compliance requirements. Law firms will likely insist on end-to-end encryption.
Another important consideration revolves around compatibility with existing programs. It's a good idea to make a list of your most essential tools and determine which integrations into your tech stack are necessary. While out-of-the-box integrations are always preferable, you may need to account for custom-built APIs, which will factor into the overall cost.
Best for High Volume Signature Collection
Lightico helps you transition from tedious manual signatures to instant smartphone signatures. To get a client to sign, you send them a quick text message that opens a secure portal to the form. Once they open their text message notification, they must review the document from their mobile device and quickly sign with their finger or a typed signature.
Lightico eSignatures integrate easily with multiple CRMs and business systems to help you collaborate in real-time. The software also automatically creates compliant audit trails to prevent any fraud. Lightico is also compliant with multiple legal and security standards, including HIPAA, ISO 27001, and GDPR.
The pricing for Lightico is feature-dependent.
Best for Cloud Forward Enterprises
DocuSign is a leading eSignature product that has a cloud-based solution called the Agreement Cloud. This feature allows you to easily prepare agreements in just a handful of clicks by pulling in data from your other business systems to customize your document. Then, you can send, sign, and track these documents from almost anywhere. The Agreement Cloud integrates powerful automation into your eSignature process while using cloud-based connections to make it effortless.
To support DocuSign's impressive integration system, the company has a host of DocuSign+ partners to make the platform work with many other programs. These integrations include Microsoft, Salesforce, Google Drive, Oracle, SAP, Smart Communications, Evernote, and Workday. It also has an Android and iOS app for use on the go via smartphone or tablet.
DocuSign's plans range from an individual plan at $10/month to a business plan that costs $40/month. The company has options for more comprehensive packages for larger enterprises as well.
Best for Occasional Users - Mac
Mac users have a built-in eSignature capability through the Preview app. This app is compatible with Mac PCs, iPhones, or iPads. By opening the document you would like to sign in to the Preview app, you can select the "Show Markup Toolbar" button or the "Sign" button. You then can easily follow the prompts to create and save your signature using a trackpad, built-in camera, or through touch on your Apple mobile device.
The Preview app is a great free plan for users who occasionally sign documents and require only basic functionality.
Best for Occasional Users - PC
HelloSign is a great free option for PC users who only need to make a few signature requests a month. The free offering includes audit trail features, reminders and notifications, and signer fields. If you do decide to upgrade, it is only $15/month for unlimited signature requests. HelloSign is a Dropbox-affiliated company, meaning it is an excellent consideration if Dropbox is a central part of your workflow. The application also integrates with the Google Suite and Salesforce CRM.
Through a simple to read dashboard, HelloSign lets you see those who have viewed and signed documents and lets you send reminders when needed. The program comes with encryption for heightened security, a locked audit trail that shows timestamps and IP addresses, and customer support if you have any issues along the way.
Best Choice for Flexible Pricing
eSignGenie is an excellent pick for flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing that starts with a free trial. At $2/document, their lowest offering, you can easily use the program when needed without having to commit to more than a $10 minimum per year. This lower bracket comes with many features for its price, like three reusable templates, status notifications, audit trails, Google Drive and Dropbox integrations, as well as signer delegations.
If you want to commit to a monthly plan with eSignGenie, they come in at a very reasonable $8/month per user. eSignGenie also offers packages enterprise features. The higher pricing tiers unlock features such as automatic reminders, in-person signing support, embedded website online form signatures, and Salesforce CRM integration.
Best for Small Teams
DrySign offers a host of great features while staying well-priced for smaller teams. This solution focuses on enhanced security offerings (great for law firms), device flexibility, and workflow optimizations to help your team work smarter. DrySign also has high-level features like a group signing option, intelligent dashboards, timestamped audit trails, and custom notifications and reminders. It integrates with multiple platforms, including Google Drive, Salesforce, OneDrive, and Dropbox.
The first tier of DrySign is entirely free, meaning that this is great for your small team if you only sign a few documents a year. With five forms per user, a free template, and document tracking, you get everything you need for simple, occasional document eSignatures. If your team signs documents more regularly, you can look at their single-user option at $7/month for 80 documents or their professional package at $14/month for 600 documents. DrySign also supports customized plans for enterprises with complex needs.
Best for Payment Collection
Many eSignature options serve specific sectors and have unique features. Honeybook is an excellent option for freelancers, allowing you to not only process eSignatures but also send invoices, process payment collection, and manage projects. The dashboard of this program will enable you to see a quick overview of your current projects, new inquiries, your invoice status, tasks, reports, and your calendar through one collaborative view. You can easily invoice through the interface, send proposals and contracts, and benefit from workflow automation.
On top of these features, Honeybook has a mobile app that you can use to track your invoices and payments. Honeybook accepts all leading credit and debit cards for a flat 3% fee and will work directly with you in the event of a client dispute.
These features start at $9/month, but you can start with a free trial to see if it is suitable for your team. If you are looking for unlimited concierge and unlimited team members, or if you will be doing more than $10k in annual transactions, the unlimited option is $39/month. Honeybook also offers a $390 yearly payment option which saves you 17%.
Best for Professional Services
Portal is a multi-faceted client interface that is great for client-facing professional services. Portal combines eSignature collection with a CRM, client messaging, form collection, knowledge base creation, and accounting presented in an easy-to-navigate dashboard.
In turn, clients are presented with the best user experience: an intuitive way to send messages, share files, make bill payments, and access the knowledge base.
Custom white labeling, signature fields, and text fields allow you to develop your client portal with your existing brand style and website, offering clients a seamless experience from one to the other. Each feature Portal rolls out is designed with the client's experience in mind, so your clients' satisfaction is always top-of-mind.
Portal starts at $49/month with access to unlimited client users and all of these modules. For unlimited file storage, a custom domain, audit trailing, and unique templates, the professional account is $79/month.
Best Free Option
SignRequest is a super easy-to-use, streamlined signature option that includes 256-bit encryption and an ISO 27001 certification. The program allows you to quickly upload attachments, pick a signature order, and use limited custom branding. SignRequest even uses a "My Documents" view that will enable you to see the status of all of your sent documents at a glance.
SignRequest is an excellent option for occasional users as it has a free trial option you can use in perpetuity. As long as you only need to sign ten documents per month, this eSignature option comes free with Google integrations, a secure audit trail, and multiple device support. It also has a professional option for about $8.50/month and a business option for approximately $14.60/month, including a host of other helpful features. For eco-conscious consumers, SignRequest supposedly also plants a tree for every license sold.
There are so many eSignature platforms that can help your company achieve a better workflow for document signatures. While we have provided you with a thorough list to get started, there are plenty of other platforms out there, such as Adobe Sign, Docsketch, and SignEasy, to explore. As always, take other users' suggestions with a grain of salt. The best way to choose tools for your tech stack is to think through the essential features your particular business needs. By taking the time to think through your unique workflows, you'll soon find the right eSignature solution for your team.