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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

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


FrontRunners 2023

DocuSign helps organizations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on and manage agreements. As part of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, DocuSign offers eSignature, the world's #1 way to sign electronically on practically ...Read more about DocuSign

Biometric Agreement

Biometric Agreement is a digital signature software that helps businesses remotely validate identities and capture biometric signatures. Key features include ID integrity checker, face biometrics, liveness detection, signature bio...Read more about Biometric Agreement

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OnTask is an all-in-one platform that digitizes + automates paper-based tasks so your team can work together from anywhere, organize everything in one place, and ensure smooth processes + collaboration. In a mobile-responsive, u...Read more about OnTask

4.78 (37 reviews)


FrontRunners 2023

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


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

Xodo Sign

FrontRunners 2023

Xodo Sign (formerly eversign) is a cloud-based digital signature solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industry verticals. It enables users to prepare, deliver and sign legally binding documents online. Ke...Read more about Xodo Sign


ContractSafe is a cloud-based contract management solution suitable for businesses of any size. Key features include document management, contract management, key date alerts, permissions and reporting and analytics. Contract...Read more about ContractSafe


HoneyBook is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for small businesses. The solution helps users manage business processes from inquiry through to invoicing. HoneyBook lets users manage projects, ...Read more about HoneyBook


Contractbook is a cloud-based contract management solution that helps organizations of all sizes create, share and store legal documents and contracts. Key features include configurable document approval workflows, templates, mile...Read more about Contractbook

4.65 (60 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

3.75 (4 reviews)

ZorroSign eSignature

ZorroSign, Inc. is a global technology company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona and bringing blockchain technology to digital signatures for superior privacy and security. ZorroSign helps institutions, businesses, and individuals...Read more about ZorroSign eSignature

5.00 (13 reviews)


FormDr is a HIPAA-compliant cloud-based form builder application that allows organizations to create and send online forms to patients, enabling them to complete forms via mobile devices. It lets users set custom conditions, ensur...Read more about FormDr

4.33 (12 reviews)


Sign is a fast, easy-to-use, and highly secure tool for requesting, collecting, and storing electronic signatures. You can also use the tool to confirm identification and process payments. Sign helps global businesses of all sizes...Read more about Sign

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DocMadeEasy offers tools for users to edit, sign, and share PDF files securely. Free and easy to use! With millions of documents sent all around the world, DocMadeEasy is the secure, legally binding and affordable e-signature sol...Read more about DocMadeEasy

4.88 (8 reviews)


Conquer your contracts with Zoey, the all-in-one contract management SaaS platform to Create, Organize and Analyze your contracts. Zoey is for small businesses, legal departments and realtors. Zoey users can access free templates,...Read more about Zoey

5.00 (3 reviews)


Engaging end-users with a one-stop digital experience, Moxo is a cloud-based business interaction management solution that enables businesses to create a branded portal to maintain continuous connection with internal teams and ext...Read more about Moxo

4.13 (16 reviews)


FrontRunners 2023

FileInvite is a cloud-based file transfer and document collection solution designed for small and midsize businesses. FileInvite provides file request management, document approvals, digital forms, pre-built templates, e-signature...Read more about FileInvite

4.71 (99 reviews)


Dotloop is a cloud-based real estate transaction management software designed for brokers, teams, agents and service providers. Primary features include transaction management, workflow tools, audit trails, digital signatures, doc...Read more about dotloop

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.