Comparing DocuSign and Adobe Sign for Small Businesses: A Comprehensive Analysis

Comparing DocuSign and Adobe Sign for Small Businesses: A Comprehensive Analysis
Last updated on September 22, 2023

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In the fast-paced world of modern business, staying ahead often means embracing innovative solutions that enhance efficiency, productivity, and security. One such innovation that has revolutionized the way we handle documents and transactions is the adoption of eSignature solutions.

In this article, we will conduct a thorough comparison between two of the leading eSignature platforms: DocuSign and Adobe Sign.

By the time you finish reading, youll have a clear understanding of which platform aligns best with your specific needs and preferences.

Let’s get going!

What are eSignature Solutions?

ESignature solutions, short for electronic signature solutions, are digital tools that enable individuals and organizations to sign documents electronically. These signatures hold legal validity, making them a crucial aspect of modern document management. The importance of eSignatures lies in their ability to expedite and simplify complex paperwork processes, reducing the need for physical signatures and paperwork. They bring convenience, efficiency, and security to the world of document workflows.

Introduction to DocuSign and Adobe Sign

Among the prominent players in the eSignature industry, two names stand out: DocuSign and Adobe Sign. These platforms have gained widespread recognition for their robust features and reliability.

What is DocuSign?

DocuSign is a leading eSignature platform that allows individuals and organizations to sign and manage documents electronically. It streamlines document workflows by eliminating the need for physical signatures, making it faster, more convenient, and more secure to sign agreements, contracts, and other important paperwork online. DocuSigns digital signatures are legally binding, and the platform offers a range of features for document management, automation, and tracking, making it a versatile tool for modern businesses.

With pricing starting at just $10 per month for individual users, DocuSign extends a range of robust features and plans suitable for both individuals and businesses. These plans, including Standard and Pro options, offer a wealth of functionalities that cater to a diverse array of needs and requirements.

DocuSign Homepage

What is Adobe Sign?

Adobe Sign is a premier eSignature solution by Adobe, renowned for its seamless electronic document signing capabilities. It allows individuals and organizations to sign, send, and manage documents digitally, enhancing efficiency and reducing paperwork. Adobe Sign offers a user-friendly interface and integrates smoothly with various apps and platforms, making it a versatile choice for electronic signatures and document workflows.

With pricing starting at just $12.99 per month for individual standard users and $19.99 per month for Individual pro users. Individual users can access Adobe Sign, and there are also tailored plans designed to accommodate both small businesses and standard businesses, providing flexibility to meet diverse needs.

Adobe Sign Homepage

Compare DocuSign vs. Adobe Sign

Heres a tabular comparison between DocuSign and Adobe Sign across various key aspects:

AspectDocuSignAdobe Sign
UsabilityUser-friendly with a straightforward process.User-friendly with a streamlined signature process.
FeaturesOffers advanced online-signing features, strong analytics, and biometric phone authentication.Prioritizes streamlining the signature process, and extensive integration with Adobe applications.
PricingVariable pricing tiers, starting at $10 per month for individual users, are suitable for businesses of all sizes.Flexible pricing plans, starting at $12.99 per month for individual users, with options for small and standard businesses.
IntegrationsIntegrates well with cloud services and CRMs.Seamlessly integrates with Adobe's suite of applications, including Adobe PDF, Acrobat, and Creative Cloud.
SecurityProvides robust security features, including two-step authentication.Offers strong security measures for data protection.
Mobile CapabilitySupports mobile signature processes.Allows mobile sending, tracking, and management of signing processes.
AnalyticsOffers advanced analytics capabilities.Provides comprehensive analytics.
CustomizationAllows company branding (in professional tiers) and customizable templates.Offers customizable features such as automatic form field detection and configurable time stamps.
ComplianceESIGN compliant.Complies with security and compliance standards.
Integration with Adobe AppsNot applicableSeamlessly integrates with Adobe applications.

1. Usability

Both Adobe Sign and DocuSign excel in terms of usability, offering straightforward and accessible signature processes. They empower users to access documents from anywhere and utilize legally-binding digital signatures.

Both solutions support offline document access and enable easy document uploading and editing before signing. They feature user-friendly drag-and-drop tools for adding signature fields to documents of various formats, simplifying document preparation.

The signing process in both Adobe Sign and DocuSign is quite similar. Signees are promptly notified via email about the need for their signature. The platforms guide signees through creating their signatures and signing the documents.

Throughout this process, both platforms keep users informed about the documents status, including who has signed and who is pending, while also offering the ability to send reminders to maintain progress.

Additionally, both platforms provide access to audit trails for documentation and legal purposes upon document completion.

2. Features

When it comes to features, both DocuSign and Adobe Sign offer impressive capabilities, but they have distinct focuses.

DocuSign shines in advanced online-signing features, making it a robust choice for users seeking comprehensive tools. It excels in simplifying the user experience for both business and individual users. DocuSign offers noteworthy integrations with cloud services and CRMs, enhancing its versatility.

Adobe Sign, on the other hand, prioritizes streamlining the signature process, catering to organizations of all sizes. It seamlessly integrates with Adobes extensive suite of applications, including Adobe PDF, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe Creative Cloud, providing a cohesive document management experience.

Both Adobe Sign and DocuSign share a common set of valuable features, including audit trails, authentication, auto reminders, bulk sending, customizable templates, and more. They also offer mobile signature capabilities, multi-party signing, and security measures like two-step authentication.

While DocuSign boasts powerful features like advanced analytics and biometric phone authentication, Adobe Signs strength lies in its compatibility with Adobe apps. DocuSigns superior analytics give it the edge in this category.

3. Pricing

DocuSign and Adobe Sign both offer business plans, but when it comes to pricing, DocuSign emerges as the more cost-effective choice.

DocuSigns business plans commence with the Standard tier at $24.99 per month per user, accommodating up to three users. Scaling up to their Business plan costs $39.99 per user per month, allowing for multiple users and adding the option of processing payments.

On the other hand, Adobe Signs pricing starts with a Small Business plan at $34.99 per user per month, with no user limits. Their Business plan is priced at $39.99 per user per month but mandates a three-year commitment.

Although the pricing appears quite similar, DocuSigns Business plan offers better value for those seeking personalized branding, reminders, notifications, and document comments.

4. Integration

When it comes to integration capabilities, both DocuSign and Adobe Sign are versatile and offer various integration options. Lets explore their integration capabilities:

DocuSign Integration:
  • Cloud Services: DocuSign integrates seamlessly with a wide range of cloud services, including Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box. This ensures that your documents are easily accessible and can be signed directly from these platforms.
  • CRM Integration: DocuSign has strong CRM integration support, with connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and more. This enables businesses to incorporate eSignatures into their existing customer relationship management processes.
  • APIs: DocuSign provides robust APIs, allowing for custom integrations with other software and applications. This flexibility is valuable for businesses with unique workflow requirements.
Adobe Sign Integration:
  • Adobe Suite Integration: Adobe Sign boasts seamless integration with Adobes suite of applications, such as Adobe PDF, Acrobat, and Creative Cloud. This enables a cohesive document management experience for users familiar with Adobe products.
  • Microsoft Integration: Adobe Sign offers strong integration with Microsoft applications like Microsoft 365 and SharePoint. This is advantageous for businesses heavily reliant on Microsofts productivity tools.
  • APIs: Adobe Sign also offers APIs for custom integrations, providing flexibility for businesses to connect it with various other software solutions.

5. Security

Both DocuSign and Adobe Sign adhere to industry-standard security measures, ensuring the safety and legality of online signatures, and comply with various government regulations.

However, when it comes to security, DocuSign gains a slight advantage, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). DocuSigns comprehensive approach to security, coupled with its transparency, sets it apart. They provide detailed insights into their security measures through the DocuSign Security Brief, offering users a clear understanding of how their information is protected.

In contrast, Adobe Sign directs security inquiries to Adobes Trust Center without providing the same level of detail regarding its security management system.

6. Mobile Capability

When it comes to mobile capability, both DocuSign and Adobe Sign offer robust solutions for users on the go. Lets evaluate their mobile capabilities:

DocuSign Mobile Capability:
  • Mobile Apps: DocuSign provides dedicated mobile apps for both iOS and Android platforms, ensuring a smooth and optimized experience for mobile users.
  • Mobile Signature: Users can sign documents and collect signatures directly from their mobile devices, making it convenient for users who are often on the move.
  • Offline Access: DocuSign allows users to access and sign documents even when they are offline, which is particularly beneficial for users who may have limited or intermittent internet connectivity.
Adobe Sign Mobile Capability:
  • Mobile Apps: Adobe Sign offers dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android, enabling users to access the platform from their smartphones and tablets.
  • Mobile Signature: Users can sign documents and initiate signing processes directly from their mobile devices, ensuring flexibility and convenience.
  • Adobe Acrobat Integration: Adobe Signs integration with Adobe Acrobat Mobile further enhances its mobile capabilities, allowing users to work seamlessly with PDFs on their mobile devices.

7. Analytics

In the realm of analytics, lets explore how DocuSign and Adobe Sign stack up:

  • DocuSign offers advanced analytics capabilities, allowing users to gain deep insights into their document processes.
  • It provides detailed information on document status, such as who has signed and who is pending.
  • DocuSigns analytics can help businesses track the progress of their document workflows and identify bottlenecks.
  • It also offers features like document analytics, which can be valuable for performance assessment and decision-making.
Adobe Sign:
  • While Adobe Sign provides analytics features, its primary focus is on streamlining the signature process rather than in-depth analytics.
  • Adobe Signs analytics are more basic in comparison to DocuSigns advanced analytics offerings.
  • Users may find Adobe Signs analytics suitable for tracking signature progress but limited to deeper insights into document workflows.

8. Customization

When it comes to customization, lets see how DocuSign and Adobe Sign compare:

  • DocuSign allows for extensive customization, particularly in its business plans.
  • Users can personalize documents with their company branding, including logos and colors, which helps maintain a consistent professional image.
  • DocuSign offers customizable templates, making it easier to create standardized documents and forms.
  • It provides options for adding reminders and notifications to keep the signing process on track.
  • Users can add document comments, facilitating collaboration and feedback within the platform.
Adobe Sign:
  • Adobe Sign offers customization options, including the ability to configure time stamps and apply color-coded recipient fields.
  • It allows users to assign and reassign user licenses, providing flexibility in managing users.
  • Adobe Sign also offers customizable form field fonts for document aesthetics.
  • Self-serve forms can be created and customized as needed.

9. Compliance

In the critical area of compliance, lets compare DocuSign and Adobe Sign :

  • DocuSign is ESIGN compliant, which means it adheres to the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, a federal law in the United States that validates electronic signatures.
  • It also complies with various international and industry-specific regulations, making it suitable for businesses with global operations or those subject to specific compliance requirements.
  • DocuSign provides robust security features and audit trails to meet compliance and legal standards.
Adobe Sign:
  • Adobe Sign is designed to meet security and compliance standards, making it suitable for businesses with stringent regulatory requirements.
  • It complies with various global and industry-specific regulations, offering features to support compliance, including audit trails and security measures.
  • Adobe Sign provides EU Qualified Time Stamps, which are crucial for European users dealing with electronic signatures.

10. Integration with Adobe Apps

In terms of integration with Adobe applications, lets evaluate how DocuSign and Adobe Sign perform :

  • DocuSign does not have native integration with Adobe applications. It primarily focuses on integrating with a wide range of third-party applications, cloud services, and CRMs, making it versatile for users who rely on various tools outside of the Adobe ecosystem.
Adobe Sign:
  • Adobe Sign excels in this category, as it seamlessly integrates with Adobes suite of applications, including Adobe PDF, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe Creative Cloud. This deep integration allows for a unified and cohesive experience within the Adobe ecosystem.
  • Users who are heavily invested in Adobe products will find Adobe Sign to be a natural and seamless extension of their existing workflow.

Is Adobe Sign better than DocuSign?

Selecting between DocuSign and Adobe Sign depends on your unique needs:

Adobe Sign: Ideal for Smaller Operations

Although slightly pricier than DocuSign, Adobe Sign is perfect for straightforward e-signatures. Its user-friendly interface and seamless integrations with essential tools make it easy for small businesses and individuals. You can even add payment solutions to save costs.

DocuSign: Tailored for Larger Enterprises

For medium to large enterprises with diverse software needs, DocuSign shines. Its extensive native integrations boost workflow efficiency, and robust analytics provide insights. Plus, DocuSigns unlimited templates simplify document management.

DocuSign vs. Adobe Sign: What is better for small Business?

Both DocuSign and Adobe Sign are reputable electronic signature solutions suitable for small businesses. The choice between them depends on your specific needs:

  • DocuSign is known for its ease of use, comprehensive features, and strong integrations. Its often preferred for its flexibility and robust workflow capabilities, making it suitable for businesses with complex signing processes.
  • Adobe Sign is a part of the Adobe Document Cloud, offering seamless integration with other Adobe products. If your business already relies heavily on Adobe software, Adobe Sign may provide a more cohesive experience.

In short, if you value flexibility and advanced workflow options, go with DocuSign. If youre deeply embedded in the Adobe ecosystem, Adobe Sign may be the more convenient choice. Ultimately, the better option depends on your specific business requirements and existing software infrastructure.

BoloForms: An Excellent Substitute For Small Business

BoloForms Signature page

If youre seeking an e-signature solution thats both user-friendly like Adobe Sign and budget-friendly like DocuSign, BoloForms is the perfect choice.

Unlike DocuSign and Adobe Sign, you can jump right in with a free account on BoloForms. With the free account, you can send up to 50 form responses while getting signature requests per month.

Need more flexibility? For just $10 per month, BoloForms unlocks 100 form signature requests, enabling you to send 5 documents per month which is cheaper compared to the other two and is a great option for small businesses.

Distinguishing itself from other solutions like DocuSign and Adobe Sign, BoloForms offers a swift and streamlined platform that gets you started effortlessly.

Creating online documents with BoloForms is a breeze. Start by specifying whether you need to sign the document or not. Then, name your document, import it, or create it using the built-in editor, and designate the signers and the display message to accompany it.

You can even set the order in which signers receive the document and review it before sending it to ensure everything is in order.

Once you hit send, BoloForms guides your signers through the entire signature process, allowing them to create their own eSignature if needed.

Begin your BoloForms journey by signing up for free today!

FAQs: DocuSign vs. Adobe Sign


Is DocuSign a part of Adobe?

No, DocuSign is not affiliated with Adobe, but it can work seamlessly with Adobe PDF and offers integrations with Adobe products.

Is DocuSign a qualified electronic signature?

Yes, DocuSign provides legally binding digital signatures that are recognized in 188 countries.

Can DocuSign be used to sign a PDF?

Absolutely, you can easily upload PDF documents to DocuSign for digital signature processing.

Does Adobe Sign work with DocuSign?

The "Send for Electronic Signature" feature allows you to conveniently send a document for signature, whether its an electronic or physical signature. You can initiate this process directly from the Documents workspace or while previewing the document. After the signature is obtained, the document is securely stored within DocuSign CLM as a PDF, ensuring its integrity through Adobe-Adobe Sign verification protocols.

Adobe Sign:

Is Adobe Fill and Sign secure?

Yes, Adobe Fill and Sign, a free app from Adobe, is designed with security in mind and is safe to use for electronic document management.

Is Adobe Sign included in Acrobat Pro?

Yes, Adobe Signs functionality is integrated into the Acrobat Pro DC subscription, offering a comprehensive solution for document management.

How much does Adobe Sign cost?

Adobe Sign pricing starts at $12.99 per month per user, and while it doesnt have a free version, you can explore its features with a 14-day free trial.

DocuSign vs. Adobe Sign: The Final Verdict

In conclusion, your choice between DocuSign and Adobe Sign depends on your specific needs:

Adobe Sign shines as an excellent online signature tool for individuals and small to medium-sized companies seeking simplicity. Its the right choice when advanced integrations or analytics are not a priority.

DocuSign steps up for large enterprises with frequent document signing needs and a requirement for robust integrations and analytics.

However, if youre searching for a more user-friendly option than Adobe Sign and a more cost-effective alternative than DocuSign, BoloForms is a standout choice.