The long-established way of getting documents signed is a huge headache. It simply isnt good.
This is how we commonly handle signatures on a document:
- We send out the document that needs to be signed via email, snail mail, or fax. (Does anyone still use fax?)
- The recipient prints out the document (if theyve received it digitally).
- The recipient signs the document.
- The recipient either:
- Emails us a scanned photocopy (which requires additional hardware such as a photo-scanner).
- Snail-mails it back to us. This involves:
- Finding/buying a mailing envelope for the document.
- Writing our mailing address on the envelope.
- Finding/buying the proper amount of stamps.
- Depositing it in a post box or scheduling a pick-up so that the signed document can be mailed to us.
- Retrieves their fax machine out from storage, and then faxes it to us.
- After were done with the document, well have to archive the document in some kind of file storage system to keep it safe and secure.
- If we need to fetch the document, well have to manually look for it in our file archive.
This customary way of getting signatures on documents is tedious and inefficient.
And because of all the hassle involved, some people tend to procrastinate on signing the document until the very last minute, which adds further delays to the process.
Getting documents signed in this manner also doesnt scale well. It might be fine if you only need one or two documents signed in a year. But to facilitate and manage this process for hundreds of documents and for hundreds of signers is a nightmare. (Some examples of organizations that operate on this scale are web design agencies, law firms, and medical services.)
And what if you need the document signed by multiple people? Thats a hairy problem all by itself!
Imagine that youre a freelance web developer or web designer in California. You find yourself in a situation which requires you to get signatures from several project stakeholders. Perhaps its because you need to get multiple sign-offs on the project contract (so you can start getting paid). Or maybe its for your project handoff document (so you can get paid some more).
The only problem? Steve from Accounting is in Chicago, the Creative Director is doing pitches in Seattle, the CTOs schedule is never predictable, so we really dont know when shell be able to sign the document, and youre trying to do all of this out of San Francisco. How will you get these signatures?
Getting documents signed seems like it should be a simple task, but the usual way we do it is unnecessarily convoluted.
If youve never heard of electronic signatures (e-signatures) before, Im pretty sure I know what your first question is. Yes, e-signatures are legally valid.
An electronic signature is the same as getting a paper document hand-signed by someone (as long as your e-signatures service provider knows what theyre doing). In the United States, the ESIGN Act a law that says electronic signatures are legally valid and binding was passed by the U.S. Congress nearly 17 years ago (June 30, 2000).
How do electronic signatures work?
- You prepare the document digitally.
- You invite people to sign your document.
- They affix their e-signature to your document.
The e-signing process is exceptionally streamlined. Plus its impressive to clients, its professional, its modern, and just plain awesome.
Also, youll be doing your part to help save our environment because the entire process is paperless.
Get Started with Electronic Signatures Using eversign
eversign is a new, recently-launched electronic signature platform. It makes preparing and signing documents fast, secure, and outstandingly efficient.
Whether youre a new freelancer who only needs a project contract signed once every couple of months, or a manager at an enterprise-level web development company which deals with thousands of signed documents, eversign will scale with your needs.
Sign up for a free account now. Seriously, you need this.
eversign is loaded with tons of essential features. Ill talk about a few of them.
It makes signing documents easy and fast
eversign gives unprecedented simplicity and flexibility to the process of signing documents.
For instance, there are multiple ways for getting signatures via the eversign platform. Signatories can:
- Draw their signature on a touchscreen device (i.e. their smartphone or tablet).
- Upload a photo of their signature.
- Type their signature.
It has a built-in document editor and document templating
eversigns built-in document editor allows you to edit, send, and sign documents in mere minutes. The document editor has a drag-and-drop UI, which makes filling in document fields quick and simple.
If you have documents that regularly need to be signed NDAs, employee contracts, lease agreements, the like you can save them as a Template. This way, all you have to do is edit a few fields and then youre ready to send out the electronic document to its signer.