Our BloggingTips Breakdown
- Clunky user interface
- Difficult to edit completed documents
- No space for drawing signature
- Steep learning curve for beginners
- A limited free trial
- Wide range of applications
- Legally binding contracts
- Easily editable before sending
- Hundreds of integrations
- 24/7 customer support
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Contracts are necessary for a business, whether it’s a small independent business or a large corporation.
However, with online work and distance orders, it’s not as easy to sign contracts on paper.
This is where a service like DocuSign comes into play.
Here is a complete review of the product, its features, benefits, and the services offered.
What is DocuSign?
DocuSign is an all-inclusive, legally binding, online contract signing system.
With DocuSign, businesses can sign contracts with clients, employees, and other businesses without having to worry about losing records or running into legal issues later.
However, the technology isn’t perfect.
Used by industry giants and small businesses alike, DocuSign is the top online document signing service in the industry.
Users can sign documents on their smartphones, tablets, or computers, and save money, time, and paper by signing contracts online.
Created in 2003, DocuSign was the first online signature application.
It quickly grew from a small business to a corporation as it enhanced safety and security features and worked with an expert legal team to make online contracts legally binding.
DocuSign offers an automated process of signing and sending contracts.
Everything is safe, secure, and legal.
Since 2003, DocuSign has been the top company for online contracts.
A billion users worldwide have trusted DocuSign to sign, send, and receive documents since its inception.
Our Recommendation: At a Glance
Do We Recommend? Yes
Budget Alternative: PandaDoc
Price: $10-$125 per user a month, depending on business size
Discounts Available: personalized pricing for enterprises
Lifetime Plan: No
- Legally binding: Yes
- Integrations: 350+
- Notifications: Email and text
Features and Benefits of DocuSign
Of course, DocuSign is the top of the line for a reason.
There are multiple features and benefits to using DocuSign, including the interface and the ability to create your legal contract through the application.
Here are some top highlights, features, and benefits of DocuSign.
1. Document Signing
Of course, the top benefit of DocuSign is the ability to sign legal documents without being physically present.
DocuSign does this by creating a secure legal document on the computer and encrypting all emails and communications involving that document.
Only the signer can view it and sign it.
E-document signing streamlines the paperwork processes for both online work and legal paperwork.
Many people use DocuSign for tax documents, employment contracts, and temporary documents.
The ease of sending out a document for signing is one of the main advantages of this software.
The documents created and sent are customized and can be signed by multiple parties or just one, as the situation dictates.
Once signed, they are legally binding and treated the same as in paper contracts.
Every signee has a digital copy of the document stored automatically, and the document owner stores copies of all documents.
2. Authentication and Audit Following
Of course, an online document signing process wouldn’t work if it wasn’t secure.
DocuSign encrypts every document and has a several-step authentication process so that no one can sign a contract or legal agreement without the proper authorization.
The authentication process includes complete online encryption, so you won’t need to worry about the contract falling into the wrong hands or getting hacked once you send it.
The email and its attachments are completely safe for both parties.
The company also offers a follow-up audit on both parties in an agreement, ensuring that every document is legally binding and properly signed by the correct person.
It’s just as safe as signing a document in person and negates the possibility of losing a contract, forged signatures, or miscommunication.
One of the best features of DocuSign is the complete customization.
As long as it’s within legal parameters for the specific document, a user can add or delete fields as they deem necessary.
Almost every part of a document can be customized, including the overall look and branding.
The document setup section is easy and the document management system allows you to create a document that will be within legal boundaries.
As you move through the document creation process, you will be given options for customization of every section.
This customization is excellent for employers who hire various types of employees, or who send out contracts to different agencies.
With a Pro account, you can customize the branding, the forms, the templates, and the individual fields on each document.
4. Document Storage and Management
DocuSign also offers unlimited file storage to Business account holders and above.
Any contract that you have sent or signed is stored in your DocuSign account, so you won’t have to search through piles of paper to find contracts.
The documents are stored and managed by DocuSign.
If you send out multiple contracts of the same type, it’s possible to save a document as a template and simply change the relevant information when you create it.
This makes the entire process easier for both parties and streamlines the hiring process.
The storage management system and document review are also excellent features.
While you are creating a contract, DocuSign automatically reviews it for potential errors.
There is an automatic storage system which can be changed if you prefer a different method.
However, DocuSign naturally manages the documents quite well.
5. Status Tracking
As part of the document managing system, DocuSign offers status tracking on all documents.
The owner can see whether the customer or employee has opened, signed, or initialed the document, and what stage of completion the document is on.
This status tracking applies to all contracts and can be adjusted as needed.
If you are the owner of the account, you can track the status of any contract in the system, even the ones that other users are working on.
As a human resource manager or CEO of a company, this is useful to monitor employees’ workloads and assist when necessary.
Status tracking and progress tracking are in-document tasks.
However, DocuSign also has template management and workflow management available.
If you have multiple contracts to complete and send out, you can track your progress through the website and increase productivity with the workflow measurement.
DocuSign Customer Service
Of course, no online service is complete with customer service.
Even the best type of business can have issues from time to time, and if you don’t have the appropriate help, it’s not worth the money of the subscription.
Here are the necessary details on customer service for DocuSign.
Does DocuSign Offer Customer Service?
DocuSign has 24-hour customer service for all subscription levels.
This is email and chat box support, with an added layer of telephone support for higher subscription levels.
The customer service varies depending on your level of subscription.
Customer service is where DocuSign receives the most complaints.
Usually, these are individual account holders who are struggling to cancel their subscriptions.
However, it’s worth noting that DocuSign’s higher-paying members receive better customer support than their lower-paying customers.
What Types of Customer Service Does DocuSign Offer?
DocuSign offers 24-hour email and chat box support, but phone support is only available for Pro accounts and above.
Free and individual accounts will have to rely on email support, which is largely outsourced.
While the phone support is good and technical issues are solved within hours, individual accounts feel the lack of this.
It’s difficult to cancel an account without phone contact, and emails can take some time to get back.
The phone support, however, is excellent.
How Much Does DocuSign Cost?
DocuSign’s cost is one of the most inhibiting factors for small businesses looking to go paperless.
Although DocuSign has a lot of great features and decent customer service, the cost is what stops many businesses from investing in the service.
There is a monthly subscription fee per user, depending on the size of your company.
Here is the breakdown:
- Individual: $10 a month for a single user, basic features (5 sends a month)
- Pro: $20 per user monthly, up to ten users, pro features (unlimited sends)
- Business: $30 per user monthly, up to ten users, advanced features (unlimited sends)
- Business Premium: $125 per user monthly, up to ten users, business features (unlimited sends)
- Enterprise: Customized quotes, more than ten users, unlimited features (unlimited sends)
Is DocuSign Worth the Cost?
For most larger companies and corporations that send out multiple contracts or have hundreds of employees, DocuSign is worth the cost.
The features available on an enterprise plan make it entirely customizable for various levels of employees, both part and full-time.
For small businesses that send out a few contracts a month and don’t need many extra features, the small fee is also worth it.
The only level at which DocuSign is unreasonably expensive is the level between Business and Enterprise.
It has a high cost with only ten available members.
Why DocuSign is Worth the Cost
DocuSign is worth the cost at almost every level.
Basic members get five contracts a month for a single person, and enterprise memberships have unlimited contracts, unlimited features, and unlimited members.
The price difference is huge, but the software adds more benefits to each level of membership.
DocuSign can be used on any platform, and that alone is what makes it worth the cost.
Many alternative options are not nearly as universal as DocuSign and don’t have the wide amount of integrations and customizations available.
These features make DocuSign worth the high price tag.
E-Signature Software Criteria: How We Tested DocuSign
When looking at the criteria for this online signature software we tested DocuSign with our methods and through use.
Here are the basic facts about DocuSign, based on our testing and Usage.
- Legally Binding or not: DocuSign creates legally binding contracts according to the ESIGN Act of 2000. Each contract sent by DocuSign is completely legal and complies with all legal requirements.
- Cross-Platform Signatures: DocuSign allows signatures on multiple platforms, including mobile and tablet devices. It doesn’t matter what type of device the contract was created on – it can be signed on any device.
- Compliance & Legal Features: DocuSign not only complies with the ESIGN Act, but also complies with the standards of HIPAA, Annex-11, and multiple other legal compliances and privacy requirements. DocuSign meets and exceeds international standards for client privacy.
- Document Amount Limits: For an individual account, the limit is five documents per user. However, any plan above Pro includes unlimited documents. With Pro plans or above, companies can send unlimited documents for online signing.
- Integrations with Other Platforms & Software: DocuSign offers over 350 integrations. Almost any personal company integration is available through DocuSign. Alternative platforms and software are supported and the company is continually adding new features and integrations.
- Pricing & Fees: Pricing and fees vary based on the level of subscription. The highest subscription is enterprise level and the subscription plan is personalized to the size of the business. However, an individual plan is only $10 a month.
Do We Recommend DocuSign? Our Unbiased Opinion
Overall, we recommend DocuSign for businesses that need a way to send online contracts to clients, employees, and contractors.
It’s the easiest and most customizable way to release fully legal contracts through the web without needing to print or receive an in-person signature.
However, DocuSign isn’t ideal for everyone.
If you have a medium-sized business that needs more features than Pro can offer, but can’t afford $135 a month a person for the Business Premium account.
However, every other level of business would benefit from a DocuSign subscription.
What We Like
- We love the ease of creating and sending a document.
- DocuSign’s legal compliances are above and beyond the international standards
- There are unlimited document sends on every level except the basic
- The creation and editing process is simple
- The user interface is easy to understand
What We Don’t Like
- The customer service is less than ideal
- The plans are more expensive than alternatives
- It can be difficult to edit a design once it’s completed
Why We Do Recommend DocuSign
Here are some of the reasons why we would recommend DocuSign for the majority of businesses.
- DocuSign documents are completely legal and binding
- DocuSign allows cross-platform signatures for most platforms
- There are multiple legal compliance and features
- No document amount limits on Pro plans or above
- Easy integrations with other platforms and company software
- Reasonable prices and fees
Why Should You Trust Us?
As a company, we believe in unbiased internet reviews.
Our corporation is entirely paperless and internet based. Without companies like DocuSign, we couldn’t function, and we want to ensure that every aspect of the company has been thoroughly reviewed.
We have scoured the internet for user reviews, proof, and evidence that DocuSign works as advertised. We have not been hired by DocuSign and all of these opinions are unbiased.
Here are some user reviews from real people, all giving their unedited opinions on DocuSign.
What DocuSign Users are Saying
A company that provides digital signature service, which rapidly multiplies its value with a better understanding that digital signature is a very strategic and necessary application during the pandemic period.
In today’s world where everything is digitized, the company is rapidly positioning itself in an indispensable position, thanks to the critical service of digitalization of the signature. A great gift for freelancers.DocuSign user and Freelancer
DocuSign is a great piece of software that allows for quick and secure document signings as well as an easy-to-follow record of who signed a document and when. This is a great way to avoid having to use a courier service or fax machine.
It’s simple enough to create templates you can share with your team and complex enough to design them for your work needs. Documents can be signed instantly, allowing for a much faster turnaround time for important documents.DocuSign user and CEO
Obtaining a DocuSign account was one of the smartest decisions I made in my role in HR.
I figured we’d obtain this software and use it to sign documents on an ad-hoc basis, but because it’s so easy to use and simple to customize, it’s truly become an extension of our business and is used by many departments, HR, Legal, Finance, and Executives.DocuSign User and HR Manager
The Problems DocuSign Solves
DocuSign is the answer to the problem of unsigned contracts, lost papers, and the growing ecological concern of printing.
As many services go digital, some are easier to digitize than others.
One of the more difficult things to digitize is the contract.
DocuSign was the original E-signature contracting company and continues to be the number one provider of online contracts.
If your business has contracts with employees who live far away, are in different countries, or work remotely, an online contract is the way to go.
Why Would Somebody Want to Use DocuSign?
DocuSign may seem like an unnecessary technology in a regular office, but it is being used by over a million businesses worldwide.
This is because it’s more convenient for both employers and employees, especially businesses that are trying to go carbon-neutral and use less paper.
Here are just a few of the reasons why a business would consider using DocuSign:
- It saves paper and allows for a paperless transaction
- It allows for at-home or distance contract signing
- It negates the possibility of losing a contract
- It stores all contracts and contact information in an easily accessible file
- It is completely customizable and formattable
- It is encrypted and much safer than standard paper contracts
For these reasons and many more, DocuSign has reached the top of the market for e-signature companies.
It’s the best when it comes to customizability and cross-platform signing, and continues to make improvements in other areas of contract signing.
Who is DocuSign Best For?
DocuSign is a great business for most companies who need a way to sign documents without being in person.
If your company is trying to grow and hire new employees, sign contracts, or work with remote workers, DocuSign is a great option.
DocuSign is also excellent for companies who are tired of printing and scanning documents into an online system.
To truly digitize your company, keep everything on the computer with an online document signing system.
Why DocuSign is Best for Anybody Tired of Printing and Scanning Documents
Creating a document, printing it, signing it, and re-scanning it to the computer are the staples of classic contract signage.
However, DocuSign takes out several of those steps by allowing you to create a legally binding, sendable document in your office.
It is the ideal solution if you are tired of printing and scanning contracts.
The encrypted documents are much safer than something put through a copier, scanned back into a computer, and left in a file in the office.
These contracts are also better for the environment and more sensible for long-distance offices or remote workers to sign.
Every employee will appreciate not having to take an extra trip to human resources.
Who Should NOT Use DocuSign?
Although DocuSign is awesome for most sizes of businesses, it’s not great for everyone.
The payment plans try to account for all levels of business, but a few types of company slip through the cracks.
A small, local company won’t benefit from DocuSign until they’ve grown a bit more.
The second-largest level of company, Business Premium, is also only useful for a certain subset of businesses.
Until your company is ready for the enterprise level, it might be best to stay at the level beneath it.
Why Anybody at a Small, Local Business Should Not Use DocuSign
If you have a small, local business with more than one human resources employee, DocuSign probably isn’t right for you.
It’s too expensive to move up to a Pro plan, and the individual plan only has five contracts a month and only allows one person to use it.
Although some businesses might be able to make this work for them, it’s crucial to keep in mind that DocuSign is difficult to cancel, and the larger your business is, the better the deal is.
Look through all of the benefits to a certain level of a plan before purchasing.
What to Think About Before Buying DocuSign
Of course, DocuSign isn’t for everyone. It’s a significant investment, even though it is worth it for many businesses.
Before you purchase DocuSign, consider the following factors:
- Which plan would be best for you, and the benefits that come with this plan
- The cost of the plan and how many users you would need
- How many contracts you plan to send out a month
- Which benefits you would use the most, and whether moving up a plan would be worth it
Each of these factors depends solely on how much money you are willing to spend and how much you think you will get out of the service.
Each plan (except the individual plan) has the same amount of contracts available.
You will need to consider which extra features are worth it to you and how much you are willing to pay.
Of course, if you don’t think that DocuSign is the right choice for you, there are multiple other options for e-signature services.
You can find one that has different rates, better customer service, or a different set of features.
Here are the top alternatives to DocuSign.
Of all the alternative options for DocuSign, SignWell might be the most well-known.
It has excellent reviews and several different features from DocuSign.
However, the lower price point is a huge draw, as is the customer service and simple user interface. Here are the details on SignWell.
How Does SignWell Differ From DocuSign?
SignWell is a little less expensive than DocuSign, with prices starting at $10 a month per user, no matter the size of the company.
However, SignWell doesn’t offer in-app editing.
You’ll have to create a document outside of the app, using Adobe or another editing tool.
DocuSign merely allows you to encrypt, send, and sign a document.
Because of this difference, SignWell doesn’t offer the same amount of document editing as DocuSign.
The customer service is better, however, and phone support is an option for every level of subscription.
Who is SignWell Best For?
Overall, SignWell is best for small businesses with low budgets.
It works to do the same thing that DocuSign does, but doesn’t have many of the bonus features or benefits.
However, the low price point is an excellent tradeoff.
If you need an e-signature application and don’t have the budget for a DocuSign account, SignWell is a great place to start.
You will have to learn how to make the document yourself and format it to be legal, but SignWell can help with encryption and allow you to sign the document wherever you would like.
HelloSign is another alternative to DocuSign.
It has a similar layout, with workflow options and an increasing number of users depending on the subscription.
However, HelloSign is owned by DropBox, which stores all the contracts and allows the company to function.
It’s a favorite amongst small businesses.
How Does HelloSign Differ from DocuSign?
HelloSign is more affordable than DocuSign but lacks many of the features that DocuSign offers.
HelloSign is set up more as an email automation campaign, with workflows and email reminders, and templates.
It advertises and provides the option for e-signing, but that is not the primary function.
Instead, HelloSign does a large amount of small business work.
If you need a workflow app that offers email automations as well as e-signing work, HelloSign is a great option.
However, if you’re just looking for e-signing and don’t need much else, HelloSign probably isn’t worth the price.
Who is HelloSign Best For?
HelloSign is best for small businesses that are looking for a way to organize their paperwork effortlessly.
HelloSign uses DropBox as a backup for all contracts, legal documents, and workflows, so you can access it from any computer.
As long as you have a DropBox account, you will be able to use HelloSign.
If you have a small business and need a little more than your average office planner, HelloSign is an excellent option.
It can help you focus your workflows and manage contracts all in one place.
The final alternative is PandaDoc.
It is very similar to DocuSign and has many of the same features.
However, PandaDoc is focused on customer contracts instead of employee contracts and backs up its servers to Amazon’s servers.
This allows for increased security at lower costs. Here are the details on PandaDoc.
How Does PandaDoc Differ From DocuSign?
PandaDoc offers premade templates, fill-in documents, and customizable forms, much like DocuSign. It is a much cheaper option, especially for small businesses.
However, PandaDoc does have a specific focus. Instead of multiple types of forms that could be across all departments, PandaDoc’s forms are mostly customer-oriented.
Because of this, PandaDoc is extremely popular in customer service, sales, and other sales-type businesses.
However, the service doesn’t work as well for those trying to use the same service for hiring new employees, signing customer contracts, and creating deals with other businesses.
Who is PandaDoc Best For?
PandaDoc is best for businesses who are looking for a cheaper alternative to DocuSign and don’t need the extra security of DocuSign’s private servers.
For most businesses, PandaDoc’s backup through Amazon is an excellent option.
However, the more sensitive or private businesses might prefer a private server.
If you are a smaller business, a sales team, or looking to switch to a less expensive version of DocuSign, PandaDoc is a great option.
However, human resources and other hiring departments might not have the same amount of satisfaction with the PandaDoc templates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about DocuSign and their answers.
Hopefully, they answer your questions and help you decide on e-signature software.
Can I trust DocuSign?
DocuSign is one of the most secure E-signature sites available.
They have multiple security processes and include encryption as part of every standard contract.
According to United States law, DocuSign’s contracts are completely legal and stand up in a court of law.
If you receive a contract through DocuSign or decide to use DocuSign to send contracts, it’s essential to know whether it’s safe.
However, millions of customers and reviews, as well as stringent safety measures, have shown this to be the case.
Has DocuSign ever been hacked?
DocuSign was hacked once in 2017.
However, the hackers only managed to hack through one layer of encryption and stole several hundred customer emails.
While this is never good news, the amount of security that DocuSign has on their contracts and more personal information has never been breached.
Since 2017, DocuSign hasn’t been hacked.
The company has even more stringent safety protocols and all information on its website is safer than ever before.
DocuSign is the oldest e-signature contract provider and remains at the top of the market.
Although it’s slightly more expensive than others in the market and could improve customer service methods, DocuSign remains one of the top choices for any business looking to sign online contracts and documents.
With this review, we discussed who DocuSign is good for, what makes it so excellent, and why we recommend it.
We also talked about some alternatives if you’re looking for a cheaper option.
Hopefully, this review answered all your questions about DocuSign and helped you make the right decision for your business.