• Jack Shonkwiler

3 No-Brainer Reasons Startups Should Use E-Signatures

Electronic signatures are at the heart of efficient workflows. Startups that opt for e-signatures benefit from several gains, such as reduced document creation costs, happier customers, and positive ROI.

Here are 3 no-nonsense reasons startups should implement an e-signature solution.

1. Reduced operational costs and positive ROI

U.S. companies that don’t leverage e-signatures use two cases of paper per employee per year, at $40 per case. For a 100-person company, that amounts to $8,000 per year without even accounting for storage space, printer repairs, ink, etc. (Not good for processes or the environment.)

An Adobe study found that 61% of managers who used e-signatures were able to reduce document-related costs. What’s more, e-signature apps usually allow for secure online storage of contracts, PDFs, proposals, invoices, etc. without the need for physical space.

In a study published by AIIM, 81% of respondents said that they saw a positive return on investment within twelve months of adopting e-signature software. A quarter of those asked said they saw a payback from e-signature solutions within three months.

2. Faster, more secure document processing with fewer errors

To say e-signatures cut processing time is an understatement. In some cases, document processing time is reduced from five days to 37 minutes.

Research also shows that e-signature apps reduce the total number of mistakes by an average of 80%. Writers, managers, and legal experts can take advantage of a suite of tools that are designed to work in concert with e-signatures. These include automated approval workflows, templates, and content libraries.

Not only are e-signatures legally enforceable, but they’re often more secure than handwritten signatures. Because e-signatures are usually accompanied by a digital audit trail, made up of emails, signing certificates, stored copies of contracts, and so on, they’re very easy to verify. It’s also much harder to forge an electronic signature than a handwritten one.

3. More deals closed with happier customers

Companies that use e-signatures see up to a 28% increase in their document close rate, thanks to features that allow document creators to embed payment buttons—which drive close rates up even further. And because the process is simplified on both ends, businesses leveraging e-signature also see higher Net Promoter Scores.

Notably, e-signatures also speed up internal approvals. It can take days to prepare a signed document that requires hand-signatures from several different people in an organization before it can be sent out. One company, for example, saw an 83% boost in performance for in-house approvals.

Still considering e-signatures? What’s left to think about?