Since the start of the 21st century, with the boom of the internet, the world has been transitioning to a computerized work environment. As things go digital, the need for electronic copies of documentations; WORD Doc, PDF, JPG, MP4 or otherwise, had become common in the workplace.
The recent COVID-19 (Dec 2019) pandemic has really pushed the limits of technology and its role in everyday business. People started working remotely as a way to practice safe distancing between people. Deals were being brokered online without having to meet people on location. But, how do you get your deals signed and legally-binding without having to sign physical copies?
Well, this is where electronic signature software and apps come in. They’ve been around for quite a while now, and doing a fine job in having documents signed officially without printed physical copies, hand signatures and emailing or faxing back. DocuSign had been an industry leader for awhile. But what other popular alternatives to DocuSign are there?
We reviewed and prepared a list of industry’s popular five alternatives to DocuSign below to find out! It is now for you to consider the one that you find most suitable for your needs.
DocuSign Alternatives 1. DocSketch
Let’s begin our review with DocSketch. It is a simple web-based application that allows two-parties to seamlessly sign on legal agreements, and other documentation as may be required.
Ease-of-use – Overall, DocSketch users are satisfied with the ease of use of the software’s interface. Henceforth, it saves time, and does not annoy users with clutters. It is a simple interface, with simple workflows that allow new users to pick up quickly. Users can assign signatories in multiple approval levels, or assign to multiple signatories at once. Once the ‘e-signatures’ are all in place, users can be notified for further action.
Customizable – DocSketch understands that there are multiple types of documents that need signing such as sales documents, legal papers or NDAs etc. DocSketch allow users to select different templates, and signing guidelines for the other party to carefully put their signature. Again, it is templates, so they can be saved for re-use directly, or after edit.
Audit Report – Most importantly, the application provides users with an audit report that keeps a record of all the signed documents. The Audit Report ensure that e-documents comply with US and other International e-signature laws.
No App Version– DocSketch does not have a app version, unlike some of its competitors, which moves them down the list. With many users now working on the go, having a app version means more efficiency.
Lack of Templates – Although there are ready-to-use templates for users, they are very limited in number. 41, as per our count.
Not A lot of Integrations – Possible with Zapier – May incur separate charges with Zapier, but otherwise, there are over 200+ apps.
DocSketch has three different pricing plans for its users. Below is based on yearly subscription.
- Free (US$0/mth) – 1 Sender, 1 Template, and 3 docs/month
- Personal (US$8/mth) – 1 Sender, 5 Templates, and Unlimited Documents
- Business (US$24/mth) – 3 Senders, Unlimited Templates, Unlimited Documents
DocuSign Alternatives 2. Formstack
Number two on our list of electronic signature platforms is Formstack. It is an effective tool which more than get the job done. Let’s learn why below.
Mobile Application – Formstack comes with its dedicated app version on iOS and Android. This way, users can use the tool to great effect from the comfort of their device.
Send Documents via Text Messages – A unique feature of this app. Users can send documents to people through test messages where they will open the link. Then sign directly using their fingers or a saved signature. There is no need for them to install the Formstack app, or have an account.
Drag-and-Drop Document Builder – Documents are easily uploaded online. Then, Drag and drop the signature, initials and date fields to the documents where they should be placed. Documents are setup for signatures in seconds!
HIPAA Compliant – Provides a standard Business Associate Agreement that will meet HIPAA compliance standards.
Other Work Supporting Features – Users of Formstack can also choose to buy the ‘Forms’ and ‘Documents’ features to support them in their work if required. The ‘Documents’ feature helps support e-document creation, sharing, and storing. Same thing. Templates could be used and automation setup for auto-fields populating. Documents this way are secured with SSL, encryption and firewall. The ‘Forms’ feature supports easy e-forms building via drag-and-drop and comes with data analytics.
Not Free – There is no free plan for Formstack. The starting price is US16 per user for unlimited documents which can be concerning for startups and SMBs.
Text Messages Costs – Text messages may incur costs on the signatories depending on their telco plans.
Slightly More Complicated – More features mean it can become more complicated to pick up.
Below is based on yearly subscription. 14-Day Free Trial.
- Starter (US$16/user/mth) – Includes unlimited documents, signatures and templates
- Pro ($26/user/mth) – Everything included in Starter + advanced branding, sms/text signing, Gmail and Outlook contacts integrations etc.
- Enterprise – Custom plan with custom pricing
DocuSign Alternatives 3. PandaDoc
PandaDoc is currently used by around twenty-thousand companies. It is a tool for electronic signatures, and a great alternative to other options. It has a mobile application as well.
Unlimited Documents – The biggest advantage with PandaDoc is that it allows users to send unlimited documents unlike most other alternatives. This is a huge plus for new startups and SMBs
Lots of Templates – 450+ templates for users to choose from that will fit their usage. However, this is only for paid plans only.
Real-Time Tracking and Notifications – Monitor if the documents had been open, read or sign. Notifications from PandaDoc is sent automatically to update users upon each of these events. This ensures document deadlines and work timelines are adhered to.
Integrations – Users on Business Plan is able to integrate with other applications such as CRMs with Hubspot, Design tools like Canva, Payment solutions like Paypal and QuickBooks, to boost their range of features.
Not Customizable – Users of free plan is not able to customize the form. Users can only upload their documents and place an e-signature field only.
Mass Signatures – Free or Essentials plan users will not be able to send the form to multiple signatories at once or build workflows.
Costs for Bulk Send – Is separate regardless of paid plans and based on volume, which can get costly and need to be factored in budgets.
Below is based on yearly subscription. 14-Day Free Trial.
- Free (US$0/mth) – Unlimited legally binding e-signatures, unlimited document uploads
- Essentials (US$19/mth) – Free Plan features + Templates, Editor and Audit Trail.
- Business (US$49/mth) – Essentials features + Custom branding, App integrations etc.
- Enterprise – Custom plan with custom pricing
DocuSign Alternatives 4. Signable
Arguably the best electronic signature software for the UK market. Signable currently boasts about 6000 companies as customers, and is based in the UK. It adheres to the eIDAS Regulations.
Unlimited Users & Templates – Signable allows unlimited users to its full range of templates irrespective of which pricing plan they choose. This is an excellent feature of this application.
Permission Setting (Medium Business and Above Plan) – With unlimited users, Signable implemented their ‘Teams’ feature for permission setting such that certain users can make edits, add or remove users and allow who to see what documents etc.
Mass Signatures – A feature lacking in most e-signature platforms, Signable offers its customers the opportunity to get mass signatures on documents when needed.
Payments – Signable does not have a feature that allow users to collect payments unlike most other e-signature software.
Not Free – There is no free plan. The most basic plan is based on ad-hoc; i.e. pay as you go from GBP 1 per Envelope.
Send Limit Cap – The plans cap send limit by number of envelopes, which is not flexible. There might be certain months requiring more forms and contracts completion. Having a cap based on send limit is a huge downvote.
5 payment plans to choose from. 14-Day Free Trial.
Choosing Annual Plans will receive 2 months free.
- Pay-as-you-go (GBP 1 per Envelope; Approx. US$ 1.34) – Unlimited users and templates
- Small Business (GBP 21/mth; Approx. US$ 28.10) – Pay-as-you-go plan features with 50 Envelopes per month, branded emails and signatures, and API access
- Medium Business (GBP 49/mth; Approx. US$ 65.60) – Small Business features with 150 Envelopes per month, and Teams
- Large Business (GBP 199/mth; Approx. US$ 266.30) – Medium Business features with 400 Envelopes per month, and IP whitelisting
- Corporate (GBP 750/mth; Approx. US$ 1003.60) – Large Business features with 750 envelopes per month
DocuSign Alternatives 5. Contractbook
Contractbook is another cloud-based platform which allow users to create contracts and get them signed electronically at your convenience.
Templates – The Free plan already provide users access to over a hundred contract standard templates. Taking up paid plans provide users the ability to customize the templates as they wish in the platform directly.
Unlimited e-Signatures – With a Contractbook Free Plan, users can use the ready templates as official contracts to send to the approval party for e-Signature. There are just no limits on this, except the limit on storage!
Audit Trail – Follow the contracts on their approval cycle with any plans; i.e. draft, signature and tasks execution. Receive notifications via email whenever actions are required from the user. Really convenient!
A lot of Integrations – Made possible via Zapier – May incur separate charges but over 2000+ apps are supported to boost this tool’s features.
Specialised Version for Law Firms – Speed up legal paperwork preparation with document automation and a client portal that allow lawyers to monitor the current status of their client’s paperwork. Ask your client some questions. Key in their answers to get auto-population of the legal paperwork. Follow up seamlessly with clients as lawyers ensure they do not miss a step to get their client’s paperwork all done up. Law firms should definitely look at Contractbook!
Slightly Expensive – Contractbook is slightly on the highly end in terms of pricing. However, their most basic paid plan features (US$54/mo) definitely look solid. On top of, users already receive priority support with a paid plan!
No App Version– This is something that contemporary software should have.
There are four pricing plans for customers to choose from. Not sure of any free trial, but Contractbook supports companies of less than 3-year-old and less than 25 employees with a special discount. Below is based on annual subscription:
- Free – Unlimited signatures, Over a hundred templates
- Basic ($54/mth) – Features in Free Plan plus contract editor and unlimited storage.
- Collaborate ($82/mth) – Everything in Basic plus team collaboration features like admin role, permission setting, reminders, and a dedicated support manager.
- Integrate ($545/mth) – Full features in Contractbook including Zapier integrations at no extra fees.
So, you might be a little confused as to which DocuSign alternatives to go for. Our review is obviously not made based on a 1-on-1 comparison because we do not believe there is any best software. Only one that suits the user’s best needs. Nevertheless, let us bring in some clarity.
In consideration of the e-Signature software to use, consider these factors (not in any order); Price, Ease of Use, Integrations, App Version, and Customer Support.
- Price is always going to be a factor. Know your budgets and stick to it while considering long-term usage, because no companies can afford changing their virtual infrastructures so often. It involves resources in the infrastructures itself, related staffs re-training and even department shuffling.
- Ease of use involves the interface of the software, approval flow building, mass send possibilities, collaboration and permission features, storage limit, and technical occurrences. Again, it is not about having everything but knowing about what your organization need.
- Integrations with other apps is essential to extend the functionalities of the software. It means long-term feasibility. Especially now that many organisations are looking towards digital transformation, and many e-Signature software do not have data analytics features. A brand with many integrations may reflect its strength in the market. So, go consider!
- Having an App version had been explained previously. It is important. Period.
- When things get rough, know that customer support is there. That is the perspective that a good software should give. The only way here is to take a free trial yourself and find out!
There might be many other factors, but we had summarized to five for easy considerations. So, read carefully and make your well-thought decision before you opt for any of the above e-Signature software.
Do your organization suffer from too much paperwork requiring signatures? What is preventing them from opting for e-Signatures? COMMENT below.
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