It’s no secret that businesses have become increasingly digital in recent years. Gone are the days of large, metal filing cabinets housing every contract, invoice, and receipt your company has ever generated. A digital signature carries the same legitimacy as ink, so if you aren’t already using digital signature software, your business is probably carrying around some unnecessary baggage.
Whether you’re looking at alternatives to your current service or are just now considering ditching paper for good, it’s important to find the right tool for the job.
In this post, we’ll break down the pros and cons of two of the leading options for generating e-signatures: PandaDoc and DocuSign. While both tick the major feature boxes, you may find one outweighs the other based on your business needs.
Before we get into the bells and whistles of these e-signature software solutions, it’s important to get an idea of what each will cost you — especially if your business is just starting out. Expenses add up quickly, and it’s worth weighing the plans based on how essential each feature is at the current stage of your business.
If you want to use PandaDoc for free, you’ll still have access to features like unlimited signatures and uploads; unlimited users; and payments via PayPal, credit card, or ACH payment.
PandaDoc’s Essential plan costs $19 per month ($228 total) for an annual billing plan or $25 per month if you choose to pay monthly. This tier introduces customization and template features (more on those below), as well as pricing table functionality and insights and analytics to help make your signing process more efficient.
The Business plan will set you back $49 per month annually ($588 total) or $59 per month if you’d prefer to be billed month to month. Here, you get CRM integration, email branding capabilities, content library access, and more. You can also access the bulk send feature for an additional fee.
Enterprise accounts include everything in the Business plan plus single sign-on (SSO) capabilities, team workspaces, Salesforce integration, and more. API functionality is available at an additional cost. Contact sales for pricing info.
If all you need is unlimited e-signatures and easy access to DocuSign’s cloud storage, the company’s free plan might work for you.
Paid plans begin at $10 per month for personal, single-user accounts that allow for five documents, basic field additions, and access to the mobile app.
The $25-per-month Standard plan adds five users to the account, customization including email and web page branding, and notifications and reminders that let you know when contracts may be expiring or haven’t been signed yet.
The top-tier, $40-per-month Business Pro plan allows for payment collection, attachments uploaded by the signer, bulk sending, and more.
Companies looking to use features like SSO, APIs, authentication, and integrations with major CRM platforms should contact DocuSign for info on its Advanced Solutions accounts.
Some of the most common e-signature documents include employment and vendor contracts, sales documents, quotes, and proposals. It’s useful to have some wiggle room when it comes to creating the perfect document for the task at hand.
If you choose PandaDoc’s Essential plan, you’ll gain access to a library of over 200 templates. Choose from an existing theme or use the easy, drag-and-drop personalization software to put your own spin on a template or add logos and other branding. With a Business plan, you can pull in data through a CRM integration or easily grab snippets and phrases from your personal content library.
When it comes to tailoring your documents, DocuSign focuses less on visual customization and more on integrating data to create unique forms. While the DocuSign Standard plan offers a custom branding tool to change some visual details within your emails, the actual contract templates themselves can’t be altered much beyond a few colors here and there.
As your business grows, it’s likely that different management systems will need to work together to keep your customers happy. Here’s how the two competitors differ when it comes to incorporating external tools.
PandaDoc is determined to streamline its customers’ workflows in the most efficient way possible. That’s why it offers integrations for CRM, payment, storage, and more. You need to be on one of PandaDoc’s Business or Enterprise accounts to access integration features.
DocuSign boasts 350+ integrations available to businesses that want to incorporate data from leading CRM systems, including Salesforce, Oracle, Workday, and many more. These features are available only to users who have a DocuSign account with Advanced Solutions beyond the fixed paid tiers.
Security and support
After you’ve created and signed your document comes the important part — keeping it secure. When you send a confidential document to a client, they want to be sure their data is safe in your company’s hands. At the same time, you need to have the proper support to ensure you’re able to access your documents and signatures seamlessly.
PandaDoc takes privacy very seriously and complies with HIPAA (health), FERPA (education), and GDPR (European privacy law), in addition to being SOC II Type II certified. The company’s data servers are managed by Amazon Web Services and, in addition to an easy-to-navigate help center, the company offers 24-7 email and chat support to all paid account holders.
Several policies and technologies work together to keep your documents safe and compliant with DocuSign. In the event of disaster or cease of business, the company has an annually tested continuity plan to allow for undisturbed access to your documents and signatures. In regards to customer support, DocuSign offers many classes via DocuSign University for assistance with all of its features. The company also offers online or phone assistance for direct support.
E-signatures with JotForm
If you’re still looking for alternatives to PandaDoc or DocuSign for collecting e-signatures, JotForm offers free e-signing capabilities for any form. While creating your form, head to the widgets tab and drag and drop one of the e-signature widgets into your document to collect legally binding signatures. Choose from popular widgets powered by DocuSign, Adobe, and more.