One of the business world’s most successful innovations is the electronic signature (e-signature). Along with Zoom, it has proven to be invaluable as an increasing number of companies realize the economy of scale it provides. They are requiring fewer square feet of office space and increasing the number of employees who can work from home, thanks in part to the many advantages of electronic signatures.
Salespeople need sales agreements signed, title companies need closing documents signed, attorneys need petitions signed…all of these, and more, are being accomplished more efficiently than ever.
The good news for major players in the e-signature space is that because of the convenience and cost-savings it offers, the use of the digital signature is fast becoming the norm. Driving cross-town or flying cross-country for a signature has become the exception rather than the rule.
In this post, we’re going to look at two heavyweights in the electronic signature space: Adobe Sign and DocuSign. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each, and we’ll determine a winner at the conclusion. We’ll also let a third competitor enter the ring: jSign – a rapidly rising contender in the world of the electronic signature.
An Overview of Adobe Sign
Once known to businesses as EchoSign, Adobe Sign is a member of the well-known Adobe family. Because of Adobe’s familiarity with the world of apps, Adobe Sign works seamlessly with most of the business apps available. It utilizes a cloud-based system for document management and signatures.
Adobe Sign is a favorite of the enterprise crowd and integrates with Microsoft, Salesforce, and many other software solutions. On its higher level offerings, Adobe boasts of a variety of signature workflows and support options.
Thanks to the company size of Adobe, Adobe Sign’s security features have been well-designed and offer an assortment of advanced features that have helped it become a much respected name in the world of electronic signatures.
Another Crowd Favorite: DocuSign
When you scrutinize DocuSign, you won’t find much missing. DocuSign has amassed a huge following and has garnered thousands of flattering user reviews. The company provides everything from template and workflow creation to real-time status reporting and geolocation capture.
In addition to integrating seamlessly with Salesforce, DocuSign also is drag and drop and pairs perfectly with Dropbox, Google Drive, and many other major partners. DocuSign is accessible through all mobile devices, as well as your desktop.
DocuSign is a major force in the world of online electronic signatures for both individual and business customers.
The Nuts & Bolts of Adobe Sign & DocuSign
Comparing these two stalwarts is like eating an elephant – you don’t know where to start. So, let’s put them side-by-side and to the victor go the spoils. We’ll compare them in terms of:
- Digital signatures
- Support Options
Let the competition begin.
At the heart of what Adobe Sign and DocuSign offer is the electronic signature, allowing users to sign documents electronically in a manner that is legally binding.
With both platforms, you can sign from just about anywhere: through all mobile devices and online desktop platforms.
They both support offline document signatures, unless network connectivity is required, as in the case of payments that must be deposited.
Both Adobe Sign and DocuSign are easy to use and guide the signer through the signature process, which is similar for both. Upon receiving an email link to the document, users just follow the link to sign the document. Each system then can track the status of the document, including who signed it and who hasn’t.
DocuSign vs Adobe Sign: both offer branding options for a better customer experience. Users can add custom messages, taglines, and logos as part of the signature solution.
Through the admin panel in their account, the customer can easily switch out document colors, button colors, and change logos. There are also advanced options to allow users to create custom headers, footers, and URLs. But, you can only get this level of customization from DocuSign at the enterprise level, whereas Adobe Sign offers it at the small business and medium-size business levels.
For both companies, once an image uploads and changes are finished, all of the modifications are assigned to that brand identity going forward. Easy enough for both platforms.
Neither Adobe Sign nor DocuSign offers white labeling, so you’ll see the logo of the company you use attached to your document.
Edge: Slight Edge for Adobe
Reason: Adobe’s setup and menu options are easier to understand for new users, and Adobe Sign’s branding capability comes at a lower price point.
Another close one. Both Adobe Sign and DocuSign digital signatures are strong in the area of integrations. Adobe can proudly claim that Microsoft chose Adobe Sign as its preferred solution for e-signatures, leading to system integrations with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Flow.
Along with Microsoft, Adobe Sign integrates with dozens of other software partners and is a signature solution for many CRMs, like Salesforce, and a number of Human Resource software programs.
Not to be outdone, DocuSign works perfectly with hundreds of service partners scattered throughout the internet universe, including Microsoft and every other partner that their competitor supports.
Edge: Slight Edge for DocuSign
Reason: Adobe Sign’s strength with integrations is primarily seen at the enterprise level, whereas DocuSign offers everything that Adobe Sign does but at a lower price point. And, the volume of DocuSign’s integration library is unrivaled.
Though each company offers numerous options, the level of support you need is dictated by the plan you have. For example, for each plan, Adobe provides 24×7 live chat support, but you need a pro or enterprise plan to get email and phone support.
While being a bit more cumbersome, DocuSign offers broader support. Its support hub offers 24×7 chat support for both senders and signers and gives users the ability to submit trouble tickets with a 24-hour response time.
Adobe Sign holds its own when it comes to staffing and response time. Most reviews tout Adobe’s speed to provide needed answers, helping users avoid missing out on opportunities to get electronic signatures and providing a better customer experience for the small business user and enterprise user alike.
The Winner: It’s a Draw
Both DocuSign and Adobe Sign get the job done. Adobe Sign shines brightest for small businesses and individual users. DocuSign makes its mark in the medium to large company arena. You won’t go wrong with either, but there is an even better choice:
jSign may not yet be as well-known as Adobe Sign or DocuSign, but it comes from excellent stock. It’s by the makers of eFax, the world’s premier online fax service, with some of the finest minds in technology supplying the muscle behind it.
One of jSign’s many strengths is the ability of its users to sign electronically by either drawing their e-signature, typing it, uploading it, or signing it with a signature pad. And each type of signature is legally binding.
jSign allows for an unlimited number of signers and contacts, and easily integrates with Dropbox and Google Drive. Each signed document can be saved in the cloud for as long as an account is active.
In this new era of cyberattacks and ransomware, some companies are rightly concerned with security. jSign has answered that concern by using blockchain technology. Documents are tamper-proof, and authenticity is ensured. Completion is certified, and signing location restrictions can be enabled.
jSign’s support is U.S.-based and is available 24/7.
Do you want to go a few rounds with jSign before making up your mind? No problem. There’s a 14-day free trial, and you can then decide on either the jSign plan for $9.99 per month or the jSign+ plan for $14.95 per month. And switching to a different plan can be quickly done through your admin panel.
Besides its competitive pricing, jSign shines at offering an unlimited number of signers and contacts, restricting signing to a specific location, and providing an easy-to-use dashboard. Just drag and drop, and you’re on your way. You’ll give it a rave review for how easy it is to use and the level of support you’ll get if needed.
The Bottom Line
Hats off to Adobe Sign and DocuSign, but jSign is the clear winner. It’s less expensive, has unmatched ease of use, offers the best support you’ll find anywhere, gives you a free trial, and provides you access to the fastest, most advanced e-signature platform available anywhere.
It depends. If you’re an individual or small business, Adobe Sign may be more to your liking. If your company is medium-sized or large, DocuSign may better fit your needs. However, a great alternative to both is jSign.
Yes, Adobe Sign electronic signatures are legally binding. E-signatures with jSign are also legally compliant and enforceable.