What is DocuSign?
DocuSign is the most popular electronic signature software tool used by over 500,000 customers. The solution helps customers automate their document agreement process. Features like flexible signing, templates and cloud-based document storage reduce costs and increase customer productivity.
Table of Contents
- What is DocuSign?
- DocuSign Review Summary
- DocuSign Pricing & Cost
- DocuSign Features
- DocuSign vs. Competitors
- Is DocuSign Right for You?
DocuSign Review Summary
DocuSign was founded in 2003 by Court Lorenzini, Tom Gonser and Eric Ranft. DocuSign’s mission is to simplify the document process for individuals and companies globally. Today, DocuSign has over 5,000 employees and is based in San Francisco, California.
DocuSign is an electronic signature tool designed for those who want to automate the preparation, execution, and management of documents. Its core features include legally binding signatures, templates, audit reports, multi-party signing, in person signing and document storage. In terms of features, DocuSign’s platform is more robust. Despite the multitude of features on its platform, DocuSign still manages to be simple to use.
DocuSign is slightly more expensive compared to its top alternatives in the market. Unlike DocSketch and PandaDoc, it does not offer a free plan. DocuSign also charges extra fees for any executed documents above the monthly limit.
Overall, DocuSign is an ideal solution for companies of all sizes. It should be on the short list of any company that's in the process of purchasing a new electronic signature software. If you only need a basic tool, you might prefer DocSketch or PandaDoc.
DocuSign Pricing & Cost
DocuSign’s pricing ranges from $15 to $60 per month. DocuSign also offers a free trial of their Business Pro plan with limited features for 30 days. When evaluating DocuSign's price, it's critical to know that each plan includes a limited number of documents per month – you must pay for additional documents beyond this limit.
- Personal: $15 per month
- Standard: $40 per month
- Business Pro: $60 per month
- Advanced Solutions: Contact DocuSign for a quote
DocuSign Key Features
Below, we will discuss the key features of DocuSign. We will also include screenshots of the product to give you an idea of its design and architecture.
Templates & Editing
Templates and editing are two key components of electronic signature software. DocuSign allows you to create your own templates and includes features that help streamline document editing.
DocuSign does not provide its own standard templates, but does allow you to create your own. Templates improve document workflow by saving you time and keeping your content consistent. DocuSign includes several advanced features and security measures for templates not found in other e-signature software. For example, easily setting if a person is an in person signer, or requiring a password to access the template.
You create a template in DocuSign by first uploading your own document (PDF, Docx, Excel). The next step is to add the relevant stakeholders to your document. These are the types of people who will receive the template in the future (e.g. clients, business partners, HR). Finally, you add the specific fields to the template. The most common fields are signatures, dates, and names.
Using a template in DocuSign is intuitive and organized. To add recipients once the template is complete, all you need to do is enter their names and emails.
DocuSign includes an editor that makes adding fields to a document efficient, and has features not found in competitors. However, it does not allow you to directly edit the content in your documents (i.e. the text copy). If there are any changes you’d like to make to a document, you would have to make those changes in another application and then reupload it into DocuSign. This can become tedious and time consuming.
As seen above, DocuSign includes 17 standard fields, like legally binding e-signatures, that you can add to your document. You can also create custom fields, markup a document, and even add a seal. DocuSign’s editor allows you to zoom, make comments and navigate your document by page.
DocuSign includes a shortcuts guide, which informs you on how to use your keys instead of your mouse to perform actions on recipient fields. Some of these time-saving actions include duplicating a field, moving a field around a page, and selecting fields on a current page.
Additional Editing Features
With DocuSign, you can edit documents to include custom branding and any of 13 languages. This helps your company elevate its brand and connect more easily with stakeholders.
The document elements that you can customize with your organization’s branding include:
- Uploading a logo on documents, your home and document dashboard and emails
- Changing the color for banners and text on banners
- Changing the color for buttons and text on buttons
DocuSign’s e-signature tool is available in 13 languages, which include:
- Chinese Simplified
- Chinese Traditional
- Portuguese (Brazil)
- Portuguese (Portugal)
After you’ve created your documents, you’ll need to manage your document workflow to send, sign, and store your documents.
Sending Your Documents
When you are ready to send a document, DocuSign lets you customize how you would like to send your document. This includes choosing if a recipient is an in person signer or importing a bulk list of recipients for mass signatures.
Besides those featured above, DocuSign has a few additional features to streamline document sending:
- Setting an expiration date
- Allowing recipients to change signing responsibilities
- Enabling comments
Real-time Notifications and Reminders
After a document is sent, DocuSign will email you a notification when it has been viewed, declined, voided and completed. DocuSign will also send mobile notifications on document and comment activity.
In settings, DocuSign allows you to send automatic reminders, which remind a recipient to sign a document, and set the number of days between reminders. It also lets you set the number of days before a document expires and how many days a signer can be warned before a document expires.
Overall, DocuSign’s document signing process is simple and efficient. It also includes additional features not found in competitors’ software. DocuSign includes a “Next button”, that helps each recipient navigate each field and explains what action needs to be taken.
As seen above, some of the additional features include:
- Zooming in and out of a document
- Rotating the document clockwise or counterclockwise
- Adding comments
- Downloading the document as PDF(s) before it is signed
- Printing & signing a document
- Assigning the document to someone else
- Viewing a document’s history
- Viewing a document’s certificate
- Viewing session information (Includes document IDs, version numbers and document environment)
After you have executed your documents, it’s important that they are stored in an organized and easy to use database. DocuSign’s application stores all executed documents in the cloud and includes key organizational features absent from its competitors. This includes a search bar, and the ability to filter documents by status, sender and date. You can also create custom folders to organize your documents.
As you can see on the left side of the image above, DocuSign gives you shortcuts to quickly navigate to different categories of documents. For example, you can see all documents in your inbox, that have been sent, or deleted. You can also find documents that require an action from you, are expiring soon, or completed.
Integrations & API
In order to help users further streamline their document workflows, DocuSign has developed software integrations and APIs. These allow you to integrate your existing software applications with DocuSign’s functionality.
DocuSign integrates with over 350 applications. These include:
With DocuSign’s Business Pro plan, you can use DocuSign to collect a recipient’s payment and save their payment information for future charges. It includes advanced features not found in most competitor software like being able to collect one time payments as well as set up recurring charges. These features save you time by letting you get paid instantly and reduce data inaccuracies for manual payments.
Signers can pay on their desktop or using DocuSign's mobile app. The following payment methods are available:
- Credit Card
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- ACH (electronic bank transfer)
Legal & Security
Electronic signature software must come with specific legal and security compliances. We’ve listed those compliances below, and indicated the features offered by DocuSign.
|Feature||Offered by DocuSign|
|Secure Document Storage||Yes (SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, PCI DSS, CSA STAR Program, APEC, PRP)|
|Two Factor Authentication||Yes|
|International Law Compliant||Yes (ISO/IEC 27001, eIDAS, GDPR, BCRs)|
|Audit Reports Feature||Yes|
Audit reports track the important activity and changes for each document. In DocuSign, once a document is completed, you can choose to download a “Certificate of Completion”. This includes key information about the events taken on a document.
DocuSign is available on mobile and tablet for both Apple and Android. DocuSign’s mobile app is efficient because it includes a dashboard for all of your documents and allows you to execute documents using the app. It is also more advanced than its competitors because it allows you to edit documents by including fields.
It’s mobile app also includes valuable features such as:
- The ability to filter by status
- A library for all files
- A “Next” button for document navigation
- The ability to comment on documents
- The ability to save signatures and initials
- Access to general and account settings
DocuSign includes reports that show you key metrics related to your document and account activity. This feature allows you to stay up-to-date and make sure that your document workflow is running smoothly. As you can see below, you can easily view metrics like document status, document completion rate, and number of documents sent per week.
DocuSign also includes a few standard reports such as:
|Envelope||Data on all of the documents you have sent|
|Recipient||Data on all of the recipients of your documents|
|Usage||Data on the activity and usage of the entire account (only available to admins)|
|Custom||Can modify the information that shows up on a report|
DocuSign vs. Competitors
The top DocuSign competitors are below. The best option for you will depend on the features you need and your budget.
Learn more about how DocuSign stacks up against its top individual competitors:
You can also read our DocuSign competitors article, which includes an in-depth analysis of all DocuSign competitors listed above.
Is DocuSign Right For You?
DocuSign is the most popular electronic signature tool used by over 500,000 customers to automate their document agreement processes. It is the most robust software solution in the market, but remains very easy to use.
Overall, DocuSign is an ideal solution for companies of all sizes that should definitely be on your short list. If you prefer a simpler electronic signature tool, we recommend evaluating DocSketch and Formstack Sign. If you need an advanced document signature tool that places an emphasis not only on signing, but on the creation and editing of sales documents, then we highly recommend looking into competitors like PandaDoc and Proposify.
To learn more about DocuSign, try it for free today.