Sign Documents Electronically With Adobe EchoSign

Emailing sales or service contracts is now a regular part of nearly every business. The sticky part is getting real signatures. Adobe EchoSign is out to make that smooth and fluid for small business owners who want to improve their operational efficiency.

This digital electronic signature solution from Adobe EchoSign helps in signing, but also in tracking and filing. It supports signing by email (e-signature) or by fax. Yes, there are still many businesses that use fax machines. You can even hand write or sketch your signature via mouse. Plus, there’s an iPad, iPhone, and Blackberry app.

adobe echosign

As you can see in this screenshot above, the first dashboard gets right to the point. You can’t forget what to do because Adobe makes it drop-dead simple. “You Send, They sign, You’re Done” really captures it.  If you look toward the bottom of this screenshot, you see that you can add your own signature as well as other options such as verifying the signer’s identity with a password.

Note, you can also allow someone to fax it back by clicking that radio button. With that option, the recipient(s) prints the document, signs by hand, and faxes it back to EchoSign using an included cover sheet. The document is then converted to PDF and filed in your account. That is pretty sweet, I think.

adobe echosign

After sending my first test document, as you can see above, I appreciated the low-key way that they asked me to upgrade. I could easily skip with a simple click of “No thanks.” Well done.

What I really liked:

  • There is a free version that lets you perform five transactions a month. This includes uploading, altering, and resending.
  • I am a longtime Adobe Acrobat user and have had the full paid version of Acrobat for years, so I loved that it would let me integrate into PDF forms. One would expect this, of course.
  • There is an attached audit trail and a sequential signing workflow. Sounds complicated, but this is big if you have multi-department or multi-step signing needs. You could create this in Acrobat, too.

What I would like to see:

  • An Android app for the “other” smartphone platform. As mentioned, apps are available for the iOS and Blackberry platforms if you work in either of them.

I’d like to see them devote more effort on the mobile front. I could not sign into the iPad version, and thus test it, when I know that I typed in my password correctly. Repeatedly. The mobile app gets low marks in iTunes and with just a bit of effort, they could fix all that.

Overall, the web version rocks and Adobe has done some excellent work to make this elegant and pain free. You can use it for free, forever, or if you have more substantial needs, go Pro at $14.95 per month.

This is a worthwhile addition for the busy small business owner who travels a lot or who simply wants to organize and automate their document signing process.

TJ McCue TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.