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PandaDoc is an all-in-one tool to create, edit, send, track, and eSign documents quickly and easily. Discover a better way to generate professional-looking and error-free proposals, quotes, and contracts with PandaDoc. Win more de...Read more about PandaDoc

Jotform Sign

FrontRunners 2024

Jotform is a cloud-based form automation solution that enables users to publish online forms and record customer responses. It helps users to generate leads, collect order payments, conduct customer surveys, manage job application...Read more about Jotform Sign


Jotform is a cloud-based form automation solution that enables users to publish online forms and record customer responses. It helps users to generate leads, collect order payments, conduct customer surveys, manage job application...Read more about Jotform


HoneyBook is the centralized clientflow management platform that empowers independent businesses to deliver remarkable client experiences and operate with confidence. Use one platform to see what’s happening with all projects. M...Read more about HoneyBook

Formstack Sign

Formstack Sign is a cloud-based electronic signature solution that can also be deployed on-premise. The platform helps small to large sized businesses collect e-signatures for document authorization, ensure privacy and access the ...Read more about Formstack Sign

Formstack Suite

With Formstack, automate manual processes, deliver solutions quicker, and go from idea to workflow in minutes and save hours—all with clicks, not code. Combining a visual workflow automation builder with digital forms, document ge...Read more about Formstack Suite

3.0 (1 reviews)


Designed for the healthcare industry, Medforce's SignCenter is a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant electronic signature and data capture solution that allows users to sign and mark documents from any device. Built to manage the en...Read more about SignCenter

3.8 (4 reviews)


Avokaado is an all-in-one contract lifecycle management software designed to help legal and business teams manage, create and collaborate on documents from one single platform at every stage of the document lifecycle, including cl...Read more about Avokaado


FrontRunners 2024

Only $12/month for unlimited docs and templates, custom branding, signing links, and team features. We focus on ease of use, speed, and affordability. DigiSigner is absolutely secure and compliant with all major e-signature laws (...Read more about DigiSigner


VaFirma is a digital signature solution that helps businesses streamline the management of legally valid electronic signatures, from invoices and receipts to contracts, certificates and even electronic prescriptions. The platform ...Read more about VaFirma

5.0 (5 reviews)


ClientPoint (formerly Paperless Proposal)is a cloud-based proposal generation and sales solution that allows users to create, send, manage and track proposals, contracts, brochures and more. It’s suitable for sales and marketing t...Read more about ClientPoint

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Signority is a cloud-based electronic signature solution that automates document signing process for small and midsize businesses. The tool enables users to modify, share and store documents in a cloud environment which allows the...Read more about Signority

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RMail® is the e-security platform by RPost®. RMail specializes in elegantly easy to use email encryption for privacy and compliance, e-signatures, legal e-delivery proof, secure file sharing, email impostor protection, document ri...Read more about RMail

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PDCflow offers secure delivery and capture of payments, esignatures and documents through the channels consumers prefer – payment portals, SMS and email. Patented Flow Technology empowers companies to connect with their customers ...Read more about PDCflow

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Legalesign is a cloud-based digital signature platform to manage contracts and documents online. It is suitable for accountants, recruiters, insurers, marketers and sales professionals in businesses of all sizes. It provides real...Read more about Legalesign

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OneSpan Sign

Trusted by Fortune 500 companies. Secure, legally binding enterprise e-Signatures. Regulated industries and top analyst firms recognize OneSpan Sign products and services for their ability to balance the highest levels of security...Read more about OneSpan Sign

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Signable is an easy to use, cloud-based eSignature solution for businesses of all sizes in a range of industries such as property management, real estate, financial services, legal, automotive, recruitment and more. Signable mak...Read more about Signable

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Boost efficiency with reliable e-signing. With millions of documents sent all around the world, SignRequest is the secure, legally binding and affordable e-signature solution. ...Read more about SignRequest

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Fluix is a no-code, simple-to-use software solution that helps companies to digitize documents and automate routine tasks, all in one place. We solve the pain points of office and field teams who want to deliver faster and gather...Read more about Fluix

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Lightico's real-time customer collaboration platform empowers contact center agents to instantly collect forms, documents, e-signatures, photos, consent to disclosures and verify ID from the customer's cell phone, while on a call....Read more about Lightico

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

If you'd like to take your paper contracts online, electronic signature software—also known as digital signature or e-signature software—provides a great solution.

But before you sign on the dotted line for a new system, we encourage you to read our Buyer's Guide below. We'll go over common functionality, pricing structures and more so you can be more informed when making your purchase decision.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Electronic Signature Software?

Common Functionality of Electronic Signature Software

How Is Electronic Signature Software Priced?

Is Electronic Signature Software Safe?

Who Uses Electronic Signature Software?

What Is Electronic Signature Software?

If you've ever put your signature on a form without touching pen to paper, you've most likely used electronic signature software. These platforms allow users to add legally binding signatures to documents using a computer, smartphone or tablet. This eliminates the need to print, scan or fax paper copies.

Electronic signature software provides numerous cost- and time-saving benefits to individuals and businesses alike. According to a 2013 study by Ombud, e-signature software can save enterprises an average of $20 per document.

You can purchase electronic signature software as a standalone product (e.g., DocuSign), or as part of a more comprehensive content management system (e.g., PolicyTech), depending on your needs.


Mobile e-signatures in eSignLive

Common Functionality of Electronic Signature Software

The offerings of different solutions vary, but you can find the following functionality in most electronic signature software platforms:

Form templates

Upload documents and overlay them with template fields for electronic signatures.

Electronic signature

Use a finger, stylus, mouse or keyboard to sign forms electronically and make them valid.

Email form sharing

Send documents via email to those who need to sign them electronically.

Signing status

Track whether sent forms have been signed by the applicable parties or not.

Document management

Safely archive signed documents in a database with search functionality to find specific forms as needed.

How Is Electronic Signature Software Priced?

Electronic signature software platforms aren’t all priced the same way. Here are a few common pricing scenarios to look out for:

Flat monthly or annual fee. You pay a set amount month-to-month or year-to-year regardless of how many users you have or how many documents you store.

Per document or signature. Your monthly or annual subscription fee is based on how many documents you have stored in the system or how many electronic signatures you’ve obtained.

Per user. Your monthly or annual subscription fee is based on how many people will be using the system internally.

One-time payment. You pay one flat fee upfront to use the system indefinitely as part of a perpetual license agreement. This is more common with on-premise, rather than cloud-based, solutions.

Depending on what electronic signature vendor you choose, be sure to budget accordingly with their pricing structure.

Is Electronic Signature Software Safe?

Digitizing sensitive documents and sending them via email to get verifiable signatures sounds risky, but electronic signature software vendors are well aware of user fears. Here are some features to look for to ensure that your documents remain legitimate and secure:

Multifactor authentication

Users input unique identifiers (e.g., a password, social security number) to sign documents.

Audit trail

Time and date stamps, along with in-document checkboxes ensure signees follow the expected procedure in a reasonable time frame.

SSL document encryption

Only individuals authorized by an organization have access to documents, and all files are encrypted during transit and storage.

To test the security of a prospective system, demo it for yourself. The primary thing you want to check is that there is no way to alter documents or signatures after they have been signed, as this can lead to form and signature tampering.

Who Uses Electronic Signature Software?

Electronic signature software buyers come from a variety of industries and verticals—what organization doesn’t have forms that need signatures? But here are some user types that will benefit from these platforms more than most:

Real estate professionals. Purchase agreements, lease agreements, disclosures, liens, easements; the real estate industry has many forms that need a “John Hancock.” Electronic signature software enables real estate firms to make sense of their different documents, and allows them to easily get signatures from a client base that is often on the move.

Lawyers and law firms. Legal formalities are lengthy processes. Tons of paperwork is involved: commercial licenses, terms and conditions, business contracts, confidentiality forms etc. Electronic signatures help legal firms overcome this time-consuming administrative nightmare with digital documentation. Lawyers can finalize contracts faster by uploading legal documentation to a central location and allowing colleagues to review and validate the documents with e-signatures. Likewise, legal documents can be shared with clients via email or file sharing applications such as Dropbox, Evernote etc. Clients can review and send the documents back after adding their e-signatures using their smartphones.

Bank sales agents. Whether it's a loan application, insurance form, retirement benefits or investment plan, bank officials handle all kinds of documents on a daily basis. Each document needs to be carefully filled out and signed by clients and then finally scanned or posted to the bank. While that is already a cumbersome process, manual paperwork is also more prone to errors, such as missing information and incorrect details. With e-signatures and digital forms, customers fill in the details directly on an agent’s iPad. This ensures that clients cannot progress on a document unless they have filled in all the required information. As a result, banks can improve the accuracy of information, while saving tons of time by eliminating the endless back and forth of documents between the banks and their clients.

Human resources professionals. Modern applicant tracking systems help human resource (HR) professionals create an entirely digital employee recruitment and onboarding process. This means replacing manual paperwork with online documents and e-signatures to speed up employee recruitment, onboarding and payroll processes. Every formal document from offer letters, employee contracts, training manuals and bank forms to performance tracking sheets can be streamlined using digital signatures. This greatly reduces the inefficiencies of a predominantly manual and paper-based recruitment process, such as disorganized management of critical documents, duplicity of forms and an overall negative onboarding experience for new hires.