Electronic signature software: a buyer's guide

Buyer’s Guides
June 6, 2024
5
min
Looking for an eSignature tool but not sure where to start? We've got you covered.

What is electronic signature software?

Electronic signature software offers a quick, secure and convenient way to sign contracts and other documents electronically.

Also known as eSignature solutions, these tools allow businesses and individuals to sign agreements from devices like desktops, tablets, and mobiles, instead adding wet ink signatures to physical documents.

Use of electronic signatures, and the tools that create them, has grown rapidly in recent years, with global eSignature transactions ramping up from 89 million to 754 million in just five years.

But not all electronic signature services are born equal.

Some basic eSigning tools will be cheaper but suitable if you just want to add signatures to a handful of documents a year. Adobe Sign or DocuSign are a good examples of these.

Other eSigning tools will live within a more collaborative and comprehensive contract platform, allowing you to create, negotiate, review, store, track and renew contracts in the same place you sign them. Juro is a good example of this.

If you want to check out Juro's full suite of features, check out this guide to contract management software instead, or book a demo. For now, we're going to focus on the features teams like yours need to sign documents quickly and securely.

Electronic signature features to look out for

1. Bulk signing

Bulk signing functionality is one of the best electronic signature features for businesses with large volumes of repetitive contracts. Instead of signing contracts individually, bulk signing functionality enables you to sign all of your contracts at once with just a few clicks.

It means that senior stakeholders signing standard contracts at scale can do so in seconds, not hours, days or weeks.

{{luke-gopuff-two-weeks}}

2. Sequential signatories 

Also known as signing orders, sequential signing workflows are another great feature to look out for in eSigning solutions. 

This feature is available in Juro and it enables contract owners to not only send contracts to multiple signatories, but also customize the order they’re asked to sign the contract in. 

This helps businesses make sure that their contracts are shared with the right people for approval at the right time, which eliminates costly back and forth.

3. Detailed document records

As we mentioned earlier in this post, eSignature solutions that offer detailed audit trails can enhance the security of a signature and make it easier to verify. 

These records enable organizations to verify signers’ identities and capture important information about the electronic signature. This information can be relied on in court if a contractual dispute arises.

{{oke-moniepoint-visibility}}

4. Mobile-responsive layout

The ability to sign contracts on any device helps you get to yes faster. Counterparties can sign quickly and conveniently from wherever they are, meaning fewer blockers to closing.

Juro's mobile-responsive layout doesn't just make this possible - it makes it easy. Providing a frictionless signing experience improves the experience a candidate, customer or partner has with your brand, so it's worth the investment.

5. Automated signing reminders 

If you want to get contracts signed faster, automated signing reminders are a great feature to have.

Instead of waiting around for counterparties and internal stakeholders to sign a contract, you can set up automated signing reminders to notify parties when a contract requires their input. 

These reminders are fully customizable, enabling organizations to set reminders on their own terms.

{{nicolas-koombea-risk}}

6. Contract reporting and analytics

Electronic signature tools with contract reporting and contract analytics are also useful for businesses that sign a lot of contracts. 

For example, Juro users can access detailed contract data on how long it takes for their contracts to progress to signing on average, along with other insights into how efficient their contract signing processes are. 

These actionable insights help them to identify bottlenecks in the contract workflow -  and fix them. 

This won't be possible with all eSignature services, though. Contract reporting and analytics functionality is usually limited to contract management solutions that deliver end-to-end contracting functionality instead - like Juro.

That's why so many businesses are trading their fragmented tech stack for an all-in-one contract platform. They're streamlining processes, reducing admin, and agreeing contracts 10x faster. To find out more, hit the button below.

Want to save 90% of time on contracts?

Book a demo to find out how Juro is helping 6000+ companies to agree and manage contracts up to 10x faster than traditional tools.

Get a demo

Best electronic signature software in 2024

There are hundreds of electronic signature solutions on the market. But they won't all be right for your business. That's why we've shortlisted the best eSigning software on the market right now based on reviews, features, pricing, use cases, and more.

1. DocuSign: The best eSignature software for enterprise businesses

When you think of eSignature software, DocuSign is probably the first name that springs to mind. As one of the most recognized tools on the market, DocuSign is the default for lots of large businesses, especially since counterparties are often familiar with the tool.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider, with independent reviews on G2 frequently complaining about the quality of support customers receive, and additional charges. This means that, if you're looking for non-restrictive pricing plans and instant access to customer support, you might consider DocuSign alternatives, or compare DocuSign vs Juro.

2. Juro: The best eSignature software for contract management

Unlike most eSignature tools, Juro offers end-to-end contract management functionality, as well as a quick, secure and convenient way to sign agreements.

This makes Juro the best electronic signature software for businesses overall, especially if they want to streamline and optimize their processes beyond contract signing.

Juro is also one of the top-reviewed eSignature providers on G2, with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5. That means it's rated higher on the independent review site than Adobe Sign, DocuSign, and many other alternatives.

In fact, a recent review described Juro as "a very good platform for contract management, and much more affordable than Adobe's enterprise software".

Although Juro is more expensive than some basic eSigning solutions, the value legal and business teams receive from Juro extends beyond its native eSigning solution. Tibber's Head of Legal, Ulrika Leikvang says:

{{Ulrika | Tibber | eSigning tool saving}}

3. eSignly: The best free eSignature software 

If you're looking for a free but limited eSigning solution, eSignly could work well for you. It's one of the only electronic signing tools that still offers a free plan, with unlimited signatures, notifications and more than 18 languages.

But it's worth noting that eSignly is rated lower than some of the other leading eSignature solutions that have fees to use, with a rating of 4.2 out of 5 overall on G2. It's a no-frills service, but suitable for businesses without a budget for tooling or who need to sign one-off contracts.

4. Adobe Sign: The best eSignature software for PDFs

Adobe Sign is just one of the many tools offered by Adobe and it pairs well with their PDF editor functionality. The eSignature provider is rated 4.4 out of 5 on G2 and it offers key eSigning features like bulk signatures, basic document editing and even signing reminders.

It’s a great option if you want to sign PDFs electronically. However, like DocuSign (and many other eSigning solutions), it doesn’t offer the rich features needed to make the entire contract process more efficient.

Want to compare Adobe Sign to the other electronic signature providers? Check out these comparison guides:

5. SignNow: The best eSignature software for small businesses

SignNow is a popular eSigning solution for small businesses, with a rating of 4.6 out of 5 on G2 and the majority of their independent reviews coming from businesses with fewer than 50 employees. It's also one of the cheapest eSignature platforms on the market, with a feature set that reflects this.

SignNow users have access to legally binding eSignatures, automated reminders, bulk actions and more. The tool is praised for its ease of use, but several reviews do flag issues with the speed of the tool, which is worth considering if you're looking for something faster and more reliable.

You can find out more about how signNow compares to other eSigning solutions using the guides below:

How to choose the best eSignature software

There's no such thing as one 'best' eSignature solution. After all, businesses' requirements vary wildly depending on their industry and company size.

But there are a few things you can consider to help you find the best eSignature solution for you. Let's explore these now.

Budget

Electronic signature software varies a lot in functionality, so you can expect it to vary a lot in price, too. For example, DocuSign is a popular choice amongst enterprise businesses but less commonly used in smaller organizations, largely because of their pricing models and additional fees.

This explains why many small businesses will opt for a solution like Adobe Sign or SignNow instead.

It's also worth considering whose budget an eSignature solution should come out of, especially if the wider business already has a separate solution in place. After all, contracts are a cross-functional effort, so if you can build a case for the tool to come out of a non-legal budget, even better.

Contract volumes

If you only process a few contracts each quarter, a cheap but basic electronic signature tool like eSignly will suit you best.

But if you handle larger contract volumes, you'll probably benefit from the ability to mass sign, track, store and set reminders for contracts, so will need a more sophisticated solution, like Juro or DocuSign.

Some eSignature services will also charge per user, or per envelope, so this is worth considering when pricing up your options, too.

Complexity

You should also consider how complex your contracts are. If your contracts are negotiated, you'll need to consider which processes come before the point of signing, and whether these could be served better with a more collaborative eSigning solution.

Similarly, if your contracts have a lot of valuable data and insights that other teams in the business need visibility into, you might want a tool that can be used to track and report on contracts post-signature.

The more complex your contracts are, the more likely you are to need a contract management solution (that offers native eSigning) instead.

eSigning software vs contract management software: which do you need?

When deciding between eSignature software and contract management software, you need to consider what problem you’re trying to solve

If you need a way to sign a handful of contracts online, an eSignature solution will usually provide the functionality you need. But if you’re experiencing pain throughout the contract lifecycle, you’ll receive more value from an all-in-one contract platform like Juro.

Simple eSignature providers will enable teams to sign contracts. But Juro’s collaborative contract management solution enables businesses to bring all of their contracts into one collaborative workspace. 

This means that they have access to all of the eSigning features we just described and more. 

Juro users can:

  • Create contracts in just a few clicks in Juro’s browser-native template editor
  • Set rules around who can change what in a contract and which changes trigger the need for approvals 
  • Run real-time, dynamic reports into your contracts

To find out how Juro’s collaborative and data-rich contract platform can improve efficiency for your business, fill in the form below.

Liked what you read? Stay in touch for all the latest insights.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
To learn more about the use of your personal data, please consult our readable Privacy Policy

Instantly book a personalized demo

  • Schedule a live, interactive demo with a Juro specialist

  • See in-depth analysis of your contract process - and tailored solutions

  • Find out what all-in-one contract automation can do for your business

4.8
4.8

Schedule a demo

To learn more about the use of your personal data, please consult our readable Privacy Policy.

Your privacy at a glance

Hello. We are Juro Online Limited (known by humans as Juro). Here's a summary of how we protect your data and respect your privacy.

Read the full policy
(no legalese, we promise)

Join our next 30-min live demo of Juro

Modern businesses use Juro to automate contracts from drafting to signature and beyond, in one intuitive platform that every team can use. Want to see how?

Sign me up