What is an electronic signature?
An electronic signature is a replacement for a handwritten signature.
With an electronic signature app you can sign, send and store documents like contracts, proposals, invoices, and more.
And the best part is you don’t need to travel to be physically in a destination to sign a contract. You can do it in minutes with a signature app.
If the document requires several signers, you can also set up a workflow of users to sign it in the right order. A step ahead to go paperless and save time and money.
What types of documents can be signed electronically?
All types of documents can be signed electronically, although Word and PDF are the most popular.
Are electronic signatures legally binding?
Electronic signatures are legally binding in all the states of the US, in more than 30 European countries, and many countries around the world.
You should check with local authorities what are the requirements and type of documents accepted. Also, check the website provider for compliance and security.
Check this article for more info: HelloSign international eSignature legality guide
What is the difference between an electronic signature and a digital signature?
Although these terms are often used interchangeably, an electronic signature is different from a digital signature. Let’s see:
The digital signature is used to secure sensitive data and documents. It needs a digital certificate from certification authorities. When a digital signature is applied to a document, a digital certificate is bound to the data that you sign and encrypts the document.
This proves the authenticity of the document and its source and makes sure the document has not been tempered.
On the other hand, the electronic signature is used to verify a document, showing intent to sign it. The electronic signature can be scanned and cannot be verified. For example, you can draw a signature in MS Word and stamp it, or type it on a document using some electronic signature app.
We have reviewed 20 electronic signature apps for you. Many of these systems provide both electronic and digital signatures capabilities.
Best electronic signature apps:
DocuSign is the most popular electronic signature app in the market. The software is easy to use and intuitive. From the side dashboard, you can manage drafts, track document status, and check completed and deferred documents.
DocuSign is a must if you are looking for an electronic signature app with powerful integration capability.
1-Supports 43 languages.
2-Mobile apps available to sign up from anywhere.
3-Strong security with US, EU, and global security standards.
4-350+ integrations and leading APIs
5-Lawful and court-admissible: DocuSign complies with US ESIGN and UETA standards.
Starting at $10/month billed annually for Personal plan, single user, 5 documents per month, basic fields, and mobile app.
DigiSigner is a digital signature tool to manage and sign documents. With this software, you can sign PDFs, Excel files, Microsoft word files, and JPGs.
DigiSigner provides on their webpage a free digital signature service that supports many types of files. Like many other similar apps, this software features audit trail and data encryption.
1-Integrations only through proprietary API.
2-Customizable templates and document analytics.
3-Multiple signing and auto reminders.
5-Mobile signature available.
Free plan allows up to 3 documents per month, multiple signers, and only 1 sender.
HelloSign is one strong player in the electronic signature business. Here the process is quite simple: upload the document from your computer or cloud storage to your HelloSign account and drag-and-drop the fields you want to be signed. Then add the signer’s email address and click send for signature.
The signer receives a notification and a link to sign the document on any device. After the signer completed this step the signed document will be available in your account immediately.
1-Customer data and documents are encrypted and stored in European or US data servers (you can choose it)
2-Integrations with Microsoft, Salesforce, Dropbox, Google, Zapier, and many more.
3-22 languages available.
5-Mobile apps are available but not the best.
Free plan for 1 sender, 3 signature requests per month, Google Drive integration, notifications, and audit trail.
Next plan $15/month
KeepSolid is an electronic signature app that allows you to sign documents on any device. This platform offers native apps for major platforms, and you can access, manage and work with your documents offline. When you go online, all data is synced again.
Although KeepSolid website claims unmatched security, the site doesn’t provide exact detail about compliance and/or protocols.
1-Offline document management.
2-Reminders, signing order, and document templates.
3-Team management and workflows.
$34.99/month billed annually for a team of 5 users, unlimited templates, offline mode, multiplatform and unlimited documents.
Free 14-day trial available.
Yousign is an electronic signature software with a focus on repetitive approval workflows. This is a great feature if you send regularly a set of documents to the same users or work with the same documents.
You can design a set of steps with certain signers and notifications. All of this data can be customized according to your internal needs.
1-GDPR-compliance and eIDAS certified software.
2-Mobile apps are available to sign documents on the go.
3-Easy to use with PDSs, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google documents.
4-4 languages available: English, German, French and Spanish.
Starting at $9/month/user including 10 signatures, 1 user, 1 signature interface, timestamped field, secure and encrypted storage. Free trial available.
Cocosign is an electronic signature app you can use to collect and embed digital signatures in documents on the go. With a huge library of templates customized for many US states this platform makes a difference.
But if you are in the need of mobile apps, proprietary API or more than basic integrations, you will have to look elsewhere.
1-Strong security features with HIPAA, GDPR, CFR-FDA and PCI Dss compliance.
2-Parallel and sequential signing.
3-Offline signing capability.
4-Easy document editing.
5-Microsoft and Google integration.
Free plan for 1 sender, 3 downloads per month, 1 template and reminders and notifications.
Free 14-day trial available.
Zoho Sign is a great signature app from this popular company in the software business. Featuring workflows, secure data encryption, and a straightforward dashboard, this is a must-try if you run other software products from Zoho.
Zoho takes security at a higher level than competitors featuring Blockchain timestamping. For each document signed a public Ethereum transaction fires in the background containing the hash of the signed document. Then the transaction is appended to the blockchain along with the timestamp.
1-Good customization for signature and document settings.
2-Integrations with all Zoho apps, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Box, Formstack, Integromat, and Zapier.
3-API availability for easy integration. Documents signed with Zoho Sign API are legally binding and admissible in a court of law.
Zoho Sign pricing:
Free for a single user, 5 documents per month, signing workflows, reminders, major integrations, mobile apps.
Eversign is an electronic signature app bundled into a complete solution for document management.
A key point of this software is multiple business management, each with its team members, contacts, and documents.
Each of these businesses comes with branding and customization options, a definitive advantage for a customer personalized experience.
The contact management feature allows you to fill out and keep contact profiles for frequent signers, so you can add them further with a pair of clicks to the signing process.
1-Integration with Dropbox, Evernote, OneDrive, Google Drive, and more.
2-Multiple document management.
3-No mobile app available, only web-based.
4-Powerful and easy document editor.
Free for 5 documents per month, 3 API documents, and no templates.
DocVerify provides an easy sign system that allows signers to instantly sign documents directly from your website. Although this requires a minimum technical background to implement, you can even change the look and feel of the app.
This electronic signature app features an Electronic Notary Platform that works in every US state that allows e-notarizations. Individuals or businesses can directly contact notaries in the DocVerify system to have documents electronically signed for them. And since DocVerify is a member of the Notary Trust Register, these signs are legally binding.
1-Provides an Electronic Notary solution.
2-Integration with Salesforce, Oracle, and Wufoo.
3-Easy Sign System widget to embed electronic signatures into your site.
Starting at $24/month with up to 10 licenses, unlimited recipients, e-sign platform only.
Contract Book is a complete solution to create, sign and organize contracts and documents. This software is aimed at small and mid-sized businesses with human resources, operations and legal teams that need to improve their signing process.
1-Contract templates with advanced editing capabilities.
2-Integration through Zapier with 2,000+ software solutions.
Starting at $97/month.
RightSignature is a solid signature platform that works on any device. All major document formats are supported, and you only need a single click to set up your document with automatic field detection.
This electronic signature app also allows you to add your branding with your logo, colors, or even a photo. RightSignature provides strong security and document management options. You can set a password for a document, set an expiration date, or delete sign requests.
1-Hand-written signatures for more authentic-looking contracts.
2-Mobile apps are available to sign from anywhere.
3-Set signing order when you send the document to multiple signers.
4-API available for developers.
5-Task progress tracking and analytics.
Right Signature pricing:
Starting at $12/month, hand-drawn signatures, integrations, and document sending. Free 2 weeks or 5 documents free trial available.
Signable is an electronic signature app from the UK. With a clean and easy interface, this app is unique with its pay-as-you-go pricing model, as little as £1 per document.
Signable complies or exceeds all signature laws set by the UK and the European Union.
1-Six languages are available: Spanish, English, German, French, Dutch and Portuguese.
2-Full document tracking and control.
3-Integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, CapsuleCRM, and more.
4-Password protection option and fully customizable fields.
The lower plan is “pay as you go” £1 per envelope with unlimited templates and unlimited users.
Monthly plans available.
Adobe Sign provides PDF and electronic signature in one app. A big player in the document business, Adobe delivers a powerful system for small businesses as well as enterprises, featuring APIs for better system integration.
Adobe Sign supports both electronic and digital signatures. The whole process is easy as to upload your document, set the signer’s email address, and hit send. The signer can click a link and sign it from a browser or any mobile device with no downloads or sign-ups needed.
1-Powerful tracking process of signatures, reminders, and detailed audit trails for any transaction.
2-Integration with Microsoft365, Box, Dropbox, Salesforce, and more.
3-Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS devices.
4-Workflow settings for quick management with a clear and easy to use dashboard.
5-A document can be set to be signed by multiple signers.
Adobe Sign pricing:
Starting at $9.99/month billed annually, sign PDFs and documents, integration with Google Drive, Microsoft 365, Box, and Dropbox.
FormStack is an electronic signature app solution that lets you gather and sign documents on any device. A full-featured survey builder and data collection platform that integrates electronic signature management as well.
1-Intuitive drag-and-drop functionality.
2-Easy to create templates for frequent documents.
3-HIPAA Compliant electronic signatures.
4-Allows to create signing workflows.
5-Lots of integrations available.
Starting at $16/month billed annually with unlimited signatures and templates.
SignRequest claims to be the most affordable and complete signature solution. With 256-AES and ISO 27001 certification, you can rest assured that security and privacy are top class. Secure audit trail and single sign-On are also available (this feature depends on the plan you choose).
SignRequest offers a generous free plan, for sure a good choice for anyone with low monthly requirements. But keep in mind that this app doesn’t provide mobile apps to sign documents on the go.
SignRequest goes a step beyond with personalization. After signing you can lead your contacts to a thank you page, a nice personal touch.
1-Integration with Google Workspace, Salesforce, and 2,000+ apps through Zapier.
2-Customized branding and landing pages.
3-Text message verification for confidential documents.
4-Send multiple documents in one sign-request.
5-Bulk send through API, this is a must if there are many people in the signing workflow.
Free plan up to 10 documents per month, sign and send on any device, Google integrations, secure audit trail, and 17 languages.
In PandaDoc, the electronic signature tool is part of their document management system. This is a fully-featured platform for document and contract management with automation, e-signature, audit trails, and forms integration.
PandaDoc is a well-known brand in the document management business. And their free plan is an excellent fit for a small company.
1-Integration with Hubspot, Pipedrive, Zoho, Salesforce, and more.
2-Top security with HIPPA compliance, SOC 2, GDPR, and more.
3-Full workflow management.
Free plan for unlimited signatures, unlimited document uploads, and mobile apps.
READ MORE ABOUT PandaDoc here
Docsketch is an intuitive electronic signature app that avoids printing and scanning documents. This platform tracks and maintains an audit trail of all the activity related to your documents. Every document signed meets or exceeds US and international e-signature laws requirements. An easy to use software that will get your document signed in less than a minute.
1-Get signatures from multiple persons in your documents, also with a specified order.
2-Get instant notifications to know when your contracts are opened.
3-Zapier integration gives access to 2,000+ web services.
4-Only available in the English language, no HIPPA compliance, no mobile app.
Free plan for 1 sender, 1 template,3 documents per month, reminders, and notifications.
SignNow is a secure and easy to use electronic signature app. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, you can sign in PDFs, DOCx templates, web forms, invoices, quotes, and contracts. This platform features several built-in templates ready to customize according to your needs.
1-Begin e-signature workflows from CRMs, cloud apps, or local databases.
2-Advanced analytics and payment processing.
3-Full security compliance: FDA, HIPPA, CCPA, GDPR, and more.
4-Plenty of integrations with Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, Oracle, and more.
5-Full functional mobile apps.
Starting at $8/user/month with basic fields, mobile app, and unlimited templates. Free trial available.
SignEasy claims you can sign any document through any device from any place. And making honor to its name, this is one of the simplest electronic signature apps you will find.
You can sign a contract yourself, get an agreement signed in-person or remotely. All templates are customizable and SignEasy supports many formats, like PDF, Word, and more.
1-Send documents to multiple people in a pre-determined frequency.
2-Easy reminders setting by email and push notifications.
3-Sign documents within Google Drive, Box, Evernote, Zoho CRM, and more.
4-ESIGN Act and eIDAS compliance, SSL encryption, and digital audit trail.
5-Offline signing and multiple signatures option. Available in 24+ languages.
Starting at $8/month for 1 user, unlimited documents, digital audit trail, mobile apps, request up to 5 signatures from others. Free 14-day trial available.
SnapSign is a simple and secure electronic signature platform. You can create templates for repetitive documents, although this option is not available in the lower plan. The dashboard is simple and clean, and the overall signing process is intuitive and easy.
1-Powerful workflow can be quickly configured according to how the document moves through your system.
2-API library to build your own custom solutions.
3-Integration with Oracle Netsuite and full integration with Hubspot.
4-Strong security with US ESIGN and UETA compliance.
Starting at $9.99/month for 1 user, unlimited documents, 5 templates. Free 30-day trial available.
An electronic signature app help to save time, money and work. Integrating these systems into your workflow will have a positive impact on your business and your customers.
You will get more control over your documents, more peace of mind about security, and a better overall workflow.
Before going for a certain system, keep an eye on the following:
Are integrations available to add this app to your current systems?
Are there mobile native apps available to sign documents on the go?
Do you have any particular security need (HIPAA for example) that the app must meet?
4-Number of signers:
If you need multiple signers, check for this feature.
What is the pricing structure? Is it flexible enough if your business grows in the future?
Most of the above apps offer free plans or even free trials for paid plans. Choose the one you think meets your needs and go ahead.