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Adobe Sign vs DocuSign: 2020 comparison

Adobe Sign vs DocuSign: 2020 comparison

Finding the right electronic signature solution for your brand can be hard, especially when there are so many options to choose from. If you’ve checked out the market at all (a basic Google search will do), you’ve probably encountered Adobe Sign and DocuSign.

Both e-signature brands offer features that will help you expedite your document workflow and close deals faster. But how do they compare to one another in terms of offering and value?

Today we’re going to take a look at a few of the key features each software has to offer. Let’s get started.

Product overview

Adobe Sign

Adobe_Sign_esignature_solution

Cost: $9.99 for individual users, $34.99 per month for the Small Business Plan, or $39.99 per month for standard Business plan.

Gartner Rating: 4.6/5

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Functionality: 4.5/5

Support Options: Email, phone, ticket, chat.

Platform Availability: Online, all devices.

Free Trial: Yes. 14 days.

Adobe Sign (formerly EchoSign) is part of the Adobe Document Cloud and the Adobe family of apps. As you’d expect, it works well with most other business-related apps and uses a cloud-based system for signatures and document management.

As a digital signature software, Adobe Sign offers a web-based platform along with mobile apps so that you can scan, sign, and send your documents from anywhere.

Especially for businesses and large enterprises, Adobe Sign integrates with Microsoft, Salesforce, and other software solutions. The company also offers a variety of signature workflows and advanced support options on higher plans.

DocuSign

DocuSign_signature_software

Cost: $10 for individual users. $25 per month for the Standard Plan and $40 per month for Business Pro.

Gartner Rating4.6/5

Ease of Use: 4.7/5

Functionality: 4.4/5

Support Options: Phone, ticket, chat.

Platform Availability: Online, all devices.

Free Trial: Yes. 30 days.

At first glance, DocuSign has it all. In addition to a huge user base and thousands of positive user reviews, the company offers everything from workflow and template creation all the way to geolocation capture and real-time status reporting.

As an e-signature software, DocuSign integrates seamlessly with Microsoft, Salesforce, Google Drive, Dropbox, and other major partners. You can also access DocuSign through your desktop web browser and on all mobile devices.

DocuSign offers electronic signature services and a seamless signing process for individuals and business customers alike.

Comparison

As you might have guessed, the product offering from Adobe Sign and DocuSign is very similar. This can make it difficult for users who are trying to figure out which solution is the best fit for their needs.

While DocuSign is still the industry standard for many signers, Adobe Sign has become a formidable competitor in digital signatures and document management.

Let’s take a closer look at the services on offer.

Digital signatures

Part of the core offering for both Adobe Sign and DocuSign, each company offers the ability for users to electronically sign documents and capture legally-binding digital signatures.

Both companies emphasize the ability to sign from anywhere, including through mobile devices and online desktop platforms.

Each service also supports offline document signatures except in cases where network connectivity may be required to complete the signature (such as a mandatory payment which must be deposited at the time of signing).

Because this is the core product offering for each company, both Adobe Sign and DocuSign have taken steps to make the customer experience as seamless as possible.

While document generation isn’t a feature provided by either software, users can take advantage of simple drag-and-drop tools to place form fields on PDFs or within documents created through integrated software.

When sending a document to signers, both Adobe Sign and DocuSign follow a similar process: Signers receive an email link to the document and follow the link to sign. Meanwhile, the system tracks the status of the document, who has already signed, and which signatures are still outstanding. All of this information is available for review through the audit trails within either software.

Winner: Evenly matched

Adobe Sign and DocuSign both excel in the implementation of an e-signature solution, offering a simple and secure solution that will benefit a wide number of customers.

Customization

Both Adobe Sign and DocuSign come equipped with branding options to help you customize the customer experience. This includes adding logos, taglines, and custom messages (including email) throughout the signing process.

In each software, users can change logos, document colors, and button colors after creating a brand profile using the admin panel inside their account. You’ll also find advanced options for setting up custom headers, footers, and URLs. It’s even possible to edit the XML and HTML files for maximum customization, but this feature is only available in DocuSign at the enterprise level.

As soon as the image uploads and changes are complete, the changes are reflected in any document assigned to that brand identity. From there, any users can apply the brand identity to any generated document and send it using any predefined brand content.

It’s worth pointing out that while both companies offer a custom branding solution, neither DocuSign nor Adobe Sign offer white labeling. This means that the DocuSign and Adobe Sign brands will be attached to whichever service you use.  (If you’re interested in white labeling, you should check out HelloSign.com)

Winner: Adobe Sign

Even though both brands offer essentially the same features and capabilities, Adobe’s menu options and setup processes are clearer for new users to understand.

Adobe Sign also offers better branding functionality at a lower price point and provides users with downloadable templates for logos, headers, and footers, making it easier to jumpstart the branding process.

Integrations

Both digital signature solutions support integrations, and both Adobe Sign and DocuSign have something of value to offer when choosing your integration solution.

In 2017, Microsoft named Adobe Sign as its preferred e-signature solution, which led to system integrations between Adobe Sign, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Flow (including Sharepoint, Dynamics, and OneDrive).

Adobe also integrates with dozens of software partners to offer native signature solutions to many popular CRMs, HR and productivity software, and contract lifecycle management (CLM) tools.

On the other hand, DocuSign offers hundreds of native integrations with service partners around the web. This includes Microsoft products and virtually every other partner that Adobe Sign supports.

In both cases the integrations are native, meaning that they aren’t relying on a third-party plugin like Zapier to act as a middleman between these software solutions.

Winner: DocuSign

While Adobe Sign offers integration options that most businesses will need, you can only access some of the more valuable integrations at the enterprise level. For most of the prebuilt integrations, you’ll need an enterprise plan.

By contrast, DocuSign offers all the integrations that Adobe Sign offers and more at a lower pricing tier.

Simply on sheer volume, you’re more likely to find a native integration solution that works for you by scanning through DocuSign’s extensive integration library.

Support options

While both companies offer a wide array of support options, the level of support you need will vary by the plan you have. For example, Adobe Sign offers 24×7 live chat support, but getting phone and email support on higher-level topics like deployment, licensing, and IT requires a Pro or Enterprise Plan.

DocuSign support is broader, but it is also slower. Including the self-service resources you can find through the DocuSign support hub, the company offers 24×7 chat support for senders and signers, as well as the ability to submit tickets with an aim to respond within 24 hours.

However, DocuSign takes this one step further by offering upgraded support options that are separate from the standard subscription options. With DocuSign, you can choose to stick with the standard support plan or upgrade to a plan which provides faster response times and more escalation options.

Winner: DocuSign

With its variety of options, DocuSign wins here.

With Adobe Sign, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where SMBs with an entry-level user base ends up paying for the Business or Enterprise tier when what they’re really looking for is advanced support rather than advanced features.

While jumping from $34.99 to $39.99 doesn’t sound like much, it could add up if multiple employees join on the higher-tiered plans without finding value there — especially since the DocuSign equivalent is $10 cheaper each month.

With DocuSign, there is a tipping point where it makes more sense to have a number of employees on the Standard Plan with an upgraded support option rather than on Adobe Sign with a Business or Enterprise Plan.

Our recommendations

Adobe Sign for SMBs

If you’re just looking for a simple e-signature solution for your business, Adobe Sign is a little more expensive than DocuSign at the mid-range but gives you everything you need to sign and send business documents.

Between the intuitive drag-and-drop interface and Adobe’s reputation for design and presentation, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re trying to present branded content to a potential client in a fast and easy way.

As a bonus, you can even attach a payment gateway on the Small Business Plan (something you can’t do until you reach the Pro tier in DocuSign) to collect funds when requesting digital signatures.

DocuSign for Enterprise

It’s hard to beat DocuSign when it comes to enterprise signing solutions.

If your company size dictates that you’ll need a large number of users to send PDFs or integrate with multiple pieces of software, DocuSign can scale with your business with a full battery of features and support options.

While both Adobe Sign and DocuSign offer advanced enterprise options like advanced API integrations and customization options, DocuSign’s flexibility outstrips Adobe Sign when it comes down to integration and flexibility.

Go beyond electronic signatures

We should be clear that Adobe Sign and DocuSign are two fantastic solutions to capture electronic signatures.  If you want to go beyond digital signatures, though, you should take a look at PandaDoc.

Rather than relying on integrations with Microsoft, Google, or Dropbox for document generation and storage, PandaDoc is an all-in-one solution that provides the tools you need to do everything in one place.

We also have native apps for iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android devices, plus desktop access through your web browser.

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Alex Lamachenka

Alex Lamachenka Demand Generation Manager at PandaDoc

Alex is the Demand Generation Manager at PandaDoc who handles content and crowd marketing. His background covers sales, project management, and design. In his free time, you can find him traveling, hiking or tasting local foods.

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