When you’re sending electronic documents, capturing an electronic signature is a critical component that can’t be overlooked.
Signers need (and expect) a quick and easy way to return your documents with the appropriate e-signature in order to move the deal forward.
In the past, few signature software solutions offered a comprehensive user experience. Today, small businesses have a number of great solutions to choose from. Today, we’ll be comparing two of them: DocuSign vs SignNow.
Ready? Let’s hop right in.
How we conduct comparison reviews
Businesses that pick the right digital signature apps save hours of employee time and dramatically cut down on wasted resources.
At PandaDoc, we understand how important it is for companies of all shapes and sizes, from one-person freelance businesses to multinational enterprises, to have access to the required functionality and features when it comes to managing documents.
We aim to provide you with all the information you need to make the best possible choice when selecting digital signature and document management software.
As such, our comparison review process has several distinct phases:
- Personal testing and analysis of platforms being compared, particularly through the lens of the pain points and challenges that we have learned about from our clients.
- Analysis and comparison of feature sets, pricing, and support packages.
- A thorough overview of existing customer reviews on sites like G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot.
- Ongoing updates to comparison articles (after publication) based on research about feature releases, price changes, updates, and so on.
Many businesses make the mistake of picking digital signature software that is unsuitable for their needs.
A single freelancer, for example, will likely be overwhelmed by an extensive software suite aimed at enterprises.
And large companies will find apps designed for individuals and small and medium businesses (SMBs) severely lacking. This review will help you avoid falling into that trap.
Cost: $8 per user/month for Business, $15 per user/month for Business Premium, $25 per user/month for Enterprise, or $500 per user/month for Business Cloud when billed annually.
Gartner rating: 4.6/5
Ease of use: 4.5/5
Support options: Live chat, ticketing, knowledgebase.
Platform availability: Online, iOS, Android.
Free Trial: Yes. 7 days.
SignNow has been pushing the threshold for electronic signatures since it opened in 2011.
Today, the company offers a wide variety of features, including a HIPAA compliant digital signature solution, advanced conditional fields, and the ability to create document templates.
All of SignNow’s functionality is wrapped up in a slick, simple-to-follow interface that has earned thousands of five-star user reviews and placed SignNow among the top signature platforms in business today.
While it might sound like SignNow is up against the proverbial juggernaut in the room, SignNow is a robust platform that you can use to sign documents, manage customers, and optimize your digital signature workflow.
Cost: $10 for individual users. $25 per month for the Standard Plan and $40 per month for Business Pro.
Gartner Rating: 4.6/5
Ease of use: 4.7/5
Support options: Phone, ticket, chat.
Platform availability: Online, iOS, Android
Free trial: Yes. 30 days.
DocuSign has worked hard to establish itself as a winning product in the electronic signature field, but the company isn’t resting on its laurels just because it’s near the top of the pile.
The company offers a simple and straightforward electronic signature solution as well as custom branding, audit trails, and great integrations. All of these features are available at a low cost from a company trusted by millions of users.
We’re not saying that you should ignore other e-signature solutions and go straight for DocuSign, but this signature platform knows what it’s doing and is more than capable of delivering a great customer experience.
DocuSign and SignNow are both focused on building an electronic signature solution that you can use to grow your business.
Let’s take a closer look at the services they provide and see how they stack up to one another.
When preparing documents, both DocuSign and SignNow follow a similar workflow, but there are a few key differences.
With DocuSign, you’ll be prompted to upload your document as soon as you log in. It’s literally the first screen you’ll see. From there, users can upload the documents and simply follow the instructions on the screen.
DocuSign will ask users to add recipients before asking them to place fields on top of their document PDF. From there, it’s as simple as composing a quick message and clicking send.
SignNow offers a slightly different experience because the first thing you’ll see when logging in is your customer dashboard — not a prompt to upload your document PDF.
Once you upload a document, it will appear inside your client dashboard. After you select it, you can edit signers and place drag-and-drop fields from within the user interface.
When you’re done, you can either send the document via a link or invite individuals to sign via email.
When the document is sent for signature, signers follow the link, sign in the allotted spaces, and close out the document. It’s user-friendly, simple, and efficient.
While this process is fundamentally the same across both platforms, DocuSign is more streamlined in how it pushes users through the signing process. That’s great when you’re a first-time user trying to figure out the system.
Once you’ve got the basics down, the simplicity that DocuSign brings to the table actually becomes a hindrance because you’ll need to navigate into other menus in order to manage documents, review signatures, and take advantage of templates.
While SignNow’s user experience isn’t as intuitive, users can navigate more easily once they grasp.
This means that SignNow users will be able to create and manage documents more easily in the long run.
Setup and integration
For both signature platforms, the initial setup process is simple and easy. Both companies make it easy for users to update profiles, add images and signatures and set up branding all with a few clicks within just a few minutes.
The same is true for integrations, but the availability here may vary.
While SignNow and DocuSign offer integrations with many of the major software solutions on the market today, DocuSign offers a more robust set of integration options at a lower pricing tier.
With SignNow, users may have access to basic integrations like Dropbox or Google Drive, or OneDrive in order to import and export documents, but many of the major integrations require purchasing the airSlate Business Cloud subscription for $500/month.
This includes integrations with key software solutions that your business may use, like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and NetSuite.
DocuSign users enjoy more flexibility around integrations both in terms of variety and pricing.
However, even using DocuSign, users will still need to select the Advanced Solutions business plan to get to advanced integrations, API integrations, and more.
While both DocuSign and SignNow make it easy to complete the initial setup, DocuSign offers a wider variety of integrations at more accessible price tiers.
Branding and customization
Both DocuSign and SignNow offer custom branding solutions for your documents so that your business can stay abreast of the documents that you send out.
In both signature platforms, the branding process is wholly separate from document creation. This is great news because it means that you can create unlimited templates without ever needing to worry if your branding changes.
However, the scope of branding is vastly different between these two companies.
With SignNow, users have the ability to add branding to both their signature invitation email and their PDF documents.
All you’ll need to do is upload the document through the SignNow interface and wait for the approval process to complete.
Once finished, the logo will appear in emails and PDFs, no matter whether your documents are accessed through desktop computers or mobile devices like iPhone, iPads, or Android-based machines.
DocuSign takes this much farther by allowing users to change the logo and custom colors assigned to sent documents. This includes changing the color of the background, the body text, buttons, and the button text.
While these advanced features may seem minor, they give you the chance to put a unique, branded stamp on any of your documents.
While customization processes on both platforms are simple and easy, DocuSign brings more to the table here. If you want to add that personal brand to your documents, it’s DocuSign all the way.
Support and ease of use
Ease of use and support options can be major factors when determining what signing solutions make sense for your brand.
DocuSign and SignNow vary on the solution options that they offer, at both the small business and the enterprise level.
From the small business perspective, SignNow goes above and beyond what DocuSign has to offer simply because they offer a live-chat agent who can guide you to resources, raise tickets, and assist with support.
You don’t need to call phone support or send off to email support. You just open the chat window and start typing.
With DocuSign, it’s a little different. The standard support plan offers online case submission and management and provides access to the community forum and knowledgebase.
If you’re looking for more personalized help as a standard solution, you won’t find much here.
However, DocuSign does offer advanced customer support plans — and this is where the service can shine for larger enterprises.
While this does incur an additional cost, DocuSign offers support plans that commit to giving you 24/7 live phone support and case submission response times within a few hours.
While you will pay extra for this service, it may be worth it if you value the added support package.
This one is a tough decision because many of the advantages that DocuSign has in this category aren’t free. These are product upgrades from the standard support option, and they’re definitely a great fit for larger organizations.
But we have to go with SignNow for this one. Offering a 24/7 live rep to help customers resolve outstanding issues is just that important.
That’s why we always have a PandaDoc customer support agent standing by to assist customers with their problems and help them navigate our extensive support database!
Our recommendation: DocuSign
There is a lot of love when it comes to SignNow. The company is a great value for money and offers some interesting, advanced features and customization options at each tier. The interface is simple, and navigation is easy.
In the end, though, DocuSign wins out for both small and large businesses due simply to the number of features on offer.
DocuSign pricing is competitive and appealing, and the company offers great integrations with everyone from HubSpot all the way to Adobe PDF.
On top of that, DocuSign gives you the ability to put the finishing touch on your document with unique branding options that look great on desktop and mobile apps.
Still looking for a powerful electronic signature solution?
Hearing that DocuSign is a great fit might be what you need to know if you’re looking around for a digital signature solution, but it can be a letdown if you’ve already tried DocuSign and didn’t love it.
If that’s the case, why not give PandaDoc a try?
We offer a powerful document editor for in-app document modification, comprehensive and easy-to-use signature fields and, of course, legally-binding electronic signatures.
Plus, with our Free eSign plan, you can get your documents signed for free and collect payments in the process.
Why pay to capture electronic signatures when we can help you do it at no cost? Come check out everything PandaDoc has to offer!