Why Your Business Should Start Using Electronic Signature Software

By: on February 28, 2017

Think back to a time when you had a big deal or project you were working to complete. You’d worked so hard to finish it, and all you needed was a couple of signatures. So, you send the appropriate documents to be signed and returned to you.

Only, the documents take forever to come back, you end up stressing about tracking them down and miss out on other potential business in the meantime.

Would things have moved faster if you’d sent a document with electronic signature capabilities? There’s no way to know for sure…but it certainly would have been more convenient. And, given the availability of electronic signature software, there’s just no longer a need to wait around—clients can now officially sign and return a document electronically.

Of course, if you’re new to these types of capabilities, you might be wondering how it can be possible to use electronic signature software to get an official sign-off on crucial documents.

To help, we’ve gathered consumer data to better inform you about electronic signature software and how you can successfully employ it.

Why Incorporate Electronic Signature Into Your Business?

You might be hesitant to dive into adopting a brand new software system just to save a couple days time in back-and-forth with in-person signing of documents. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Are people really even using this software? And what would John Hancock say!

porky signature

Via Space Jam


Turns out a lot of people are already used to signing documents electronically. Our research found that 77 percent of consumers have digitally signed a form three or more times over the past three years.

What’s more, another 77 percent of consumers are moderately to very comfortable signing and submitting an official document online.

Amidst the move to digital, and especially mobile devices, this number will likely continue to grow. We’ve reached a point where contracts don’t require you to physically be in the office to push them through.

And with that, customers will soon begin to expect their documents to be available for electronic signatures. So not having this capability could diminish the overall experience your business provides clients.

What Industries Should Adopt Electronic Signature Software?

Electronic signature software is a must-have for businesses that constantly require official signatures on contracts and other such documents.

Our research reveals the top industries for clients to use electronic signature software.

Top Industries for Electronic Signature Usage

electronic signature industries
You can see from the data that consumers are using electronic signature software for finance-based documents more than twice as much as any other industry.

According to electronic signature provider, SigningHub, the finance industry and finance/accounting business units require a ton of sign-off to move work along.

“Every document requires thorough review, approval and transfer back to the appropriate person before being archived for future reference, accounting and audit purposes,” says Sam Crook of SigningHub. “A common issue is documents remaining with one department for days before moving to the next and it can often be difficult to keep track of progress.”

SigningHub and other electronic signature solutions solve this issue for financial services businesses by tracking user activity and monitoring who needs to complete the next action to move a document along a workflow.

Which Electronic Signature Capabilities Do Consumers Prefer?

When it comes to consumer preferences for electronic signature capabilities, there aren’t many options to choose from. Digital signature platforms typically require users to take one of the following actions:

  • Type their name into an interactive box within a static document
  • Click or initial an interactive box within a static document

Our consumer research highlights which type of usage consumers prefer, as 45 percent of consumers prefer typing their name to complete an electronic signature rather than clicking a box.

For context, 23 percent have no preference, while 32 percent prefer the “clicking a box” style of e-signature.

Consumer Preference for Electronic Signature Usage

electronic signature preferences
SigningHub points out that the having readers/clients initial certain boxes is valuable for keeping them engaged.

“With complex proposals and contracts often spanning numerous pages, there is the risk that even the most seasoned of financial professionals could skim a document and sign something without properly reading every clause. Signature and ‘personal initials’ fields can be inserted next to critical sections to provide evidence that all required parties have read and understood before digitally signing.”

Sam Crook, SigningHub

As SigningHub explains, many businesses that deal with longer official documents will use both methods. They’ll have clients digitally initial each page or each major section, then they’ll give clients the ability to officially sign-off on the document by entering their full name at the end.

With this initialing application, electronic signature capabilities could even be a mechanism for increasing engagement with employees on extended documents they are required to read.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve seen the many benefits and understand the consumer preferences for using e-signature software, you might be ready to adopt a system. But where do you begin? That’s why we’re here.

Software Advice provides free user reviews from your peers in the space as well as a comprehensive buyer’s guide highlighting various features and deployment capabilities of your new system.

This is a great place to start your electronic signature software selection process. Along with reviews and the buyer’s guide, be sure to schedule demos with vendors to get a better understanding of how this software could enhance your business.

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