Customer Acquisition Online with LinkSign

The Signority LinkSign feature lends itself to many different use cases. In this article, we’ll focus on one of those use cases: Customer Acquisition. Customer acquisition is a key part of any business and making it effective and efficient can make a huge difference to your business’ success.

Types of forms can LinkSign be used for

Basically any standard form that needs to be signed by an individual can be set up using LinkSign. Any forms that you might want to post on your website for visitors to view and sign if they are interested in your services will work great using LinkSign. These kinds of forms can include questionnaires, insurance applications, engagement letters, etc.

How it works

At a high level, LinkSign works by generating a URL for a form that you create. The steps to create a LinkSign form are relatively simple.

  1. Sign into your Signority account
  2. Create a new LinkSign form by clicking “New Template” from your dashboard, then choosing the “LinkSign” option
  3. Now upload the file for your form
  4. Drag and drop the appropriate fields onto the document. These are the fields that people will be filling out and using to sign.
  5. Publish the LinkSign and copy the generated URL. You can use this URL to send to individuals or post it on your website for visitors.

Benefits

For many businesses, the customer acquisition process requires the potential customer to sign a form or document before becoming an actual client. If you’re not using an eSignature tool like Signority’s LinkSign feature, that means that people need to print, sign, scan and send the form back to you. It’s a time-consuming process that could be costing your business a significant number of new clients. With LinkSign, signing takes just a few minutes. In addition, you can track each person’s progress in real time as they fill out their forms and view a report of everyone who has already filled out your form.

Signority’s LinkSign functionality doesn’t stop there. Using built-in routing features, you can have every completed form automatically sent to your sales department for approval. If anybody needs to see or sign the form after a potential client completes it, you can set up the LinkSign to route that document to them. Any such workflow can be customized.

To recap, the traditional customer acquisition process can be slow especially when there’s signing involved. Signority’s LinkSign feature gets rid of that problem by enabling fast and easy online form signing, with the added perks of tracking and reporting features for your business.

11 Essential Resources For Your New Paperless Office

11-resources-for-taking-you-business-paperless-esignatures-digital-signatures-electronic

Starting a digital office can seem a daunting task. You want to go in and go all the way – but what if you overlook a key aspect and everything stops working together? Not to worry. Here’s the list of resources you will need to utilize in your new paperless office. With nothing missing. Well, expect the paper.

PAPERLESS INVOICING

Freshbooks is a great service that can convert your billing and invoicing system to a secure electronic database. This “cloud accounting” service delivers a fast, accurate, easy to use, and professional interface for all your billing needs. Automated invoicing is available, as is integrations with Paypal and other online payment services. Use the system to generate reports, track expenses – even get the app to ride along.

PAPERLESS MEETINGS

TeamViewer lets you conduct paperless meetings and manage data within the paperless. You get remote access to any device 24/7 from any computer or mobile device. Hijack your colleagues’ laptops to access data during meetings, plus use screen sharing, video and file sharing, included whiteboards, and teleconferencing to be effective and paperless. When meetings are over, upload slides and info to Dropbox or Basecamp easily and share the digital copies.

Doodle and SurveyMonkey provide free service for conducting and scheduling meetings but don’t provide device connectivity and takeover capabilities.

PAPERLESS SCANNING AND FAXING

Turboscan is an excellent app that allows phone cameras to be used as scanners which then convert captured images to PDFs. High-quality photos are editable and may be stored and sent singularly or as large files.

Your office may also need a larger scanner for digital imaging. Here’s a PC World review of the best scanners for a paperless office.
eFax takes incoming faxes and puts them into your email box and easily-searchable emails. Receive and send faxes online from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.

PAPERLESS MEMOS AND NOTES

Evernote lets you organize notebooks of digital notes, tasks, and can sync all your devices. Whether you use a laptop or an Android phone, you can have all your notes and thoughts wherever you go. Circulate ideas between team members

PAPERLESS PAYMENTS

Square and Paypal Zettle let you process credit cards from the convenience of any mobile device and send paperless receipts to customers.

Shoeboxed lets you send your mass of paper receipts into the Shoeboxed office and receive digital versions in return. They’ll scan your papers and index them in your account, letting you get reports and integrate the data into your database systems.

PAPERLESS SIGNATURES

Signority streamlines the essential process of acquiring customer signatures with one seamless digital application. Send and receive signed documents via a user-friendly interface usable across any device. Need help on how to create an electronic signature document in Signority? No problem! Check out our Knowledge Base, or contact our customer support. Signority is great for the all agile businesses, allowing you to sign PDFs instantly, edit and store documents with one touch, and move forward faster.

Looking to take your business paperless? Sign-up now and get a 14-day free trial to a Signority Plan!

Wet Signatures vs. eSignatures | Which is more secure?

eSignatures have been around for over two decades, but many businesses have yet to make the switch from paper signatures to electronic ones. One of the main concerns is that eSignatures lack the security necessary to ensure that the document’s contents are kept confidential and the signatures coming back are legally valid. Let’s see if this is true by doing a side-by-side comparison of paper signatures and electronic signatures.

Wet Signatures

Physical or “wet” signatures are the traditional pen-and-paper signatures that are physically applied to a document. For these types of signature, the document to be signed may be sent to the signer via mail or other method to be signed privately. At other times, the document is signed in the presence of one or more other people. Paper signatures are a physical representation of a person’s identity and serve as proof of their consent to and acknowledgement of the contents laid out in the document. More often than not, a paper signature’s validity is based on trust. As the person who requested the signature, you must trust that the person who signed the document is who they say they are. As a signer, you must trust that your signature is not being forged to sign documents without your consent. Since wet signatures don’t come with a report that tells you what happened to a document prior and during signing, there is no way to directly trace the signature back to where and by whom it was signed.

In addition, with wet signatures, if the documents are not scanned and uploaded to the cloud, there is a risk of a natural disaster occurring and destroying the contents. This is another risk that businesses must face if they opt to continue to sign papers using paper.

eSignatures

An eSignature is an electronic piece of data that is created by an individual. The application of this piece of data to a document represents the signer’s identity and consent to and acknowledgement of the contents in the document. It serves the same function as a wet signature. However, since all the signing activity is done in the cloud, eSignature applications can track and observe a signer’s actions during signing. Signority’s eSignature solution tracks the name,  email address, IP address, and time of date of every action performed by the signer during signing. This allows document senders to have a full traceability report for each of the documents they get signed. Compared to wet signatures, this makes verifying a signer much easier, and can save businesses legal headaches down the line. For a signer, as long as you have full ownership over your email address, only you will have access to the documents you should be signing. If someone does try to impersonate you and eSigns a document without your consent, all their activity will be logged through the document’s audit trail. This information can be used to show who really signed the document. Furthermore, the use of SMS 2-factor authentication, and other authentication methods helps ensure the identity of the signer.

In terms of document storage, digitally stored documents are backed up in the cloud, so in case of a disaster, you won’t lose your documents. In addition, almost all eSignature providers have industry best-practice security certifications such as SOC I and SOC II certification and ISO 27001:2013 certification. These certifications verify that the company handles their customer data securely, protecting it from outside attackers, and can effectively recover from incidents that would otherwise lead to loss of data.

Finally, documents signed with eSignatures often come with a digital signature applied to the document by the eSignature provider. This digital signature can act as a type of tamper-proofing mechanism to detect whether or not a document has been tampered with. You can learn more about what digital signatures are here.

With all this information, it’s clear that eSignatures are a good choice for many companies. They provide superior security and traceability for signed documents. Not to mention they also cut down on the time you spend on each document that needs to be signed!

A Brief Introduction to eSignatures | Benefits and the Future (Part 2)

This is the second part in the series, A Brief Introduction to eSignatures. In the first part, we answered the question “What are eSignatures?”. We talked about the legal definition of an eSignature, the components of an eSignature, and the difference between an eSignature and a Digital Signature. If you missed it, check it out here.

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll go over the benefits that eSignatures have for businesses, and where the industry is headed.

Benefits of eSignatures

Legally-binding eSignatures have a number of important benefits for businesses:

  1. Easy to use. Signing electronic documents is super simple for all involved. In fact, most eSignature software is intuitive even to complete beginners, which means less time spent learning how to use new software.
  2. Save money. Paper isn’t cheap, especially when you account for purchasing, copying, scanning, and printing costs, among other paper-related expenditures. Needless to say, these costs add up quickly. Moving to a paperless system can reduce expenditures and instantly increase your profit margins.
  3. Save time. Printing, copying, and scanning takes time. Preparing documents for signature takes time. Tracking down (and waiting for) signatures takes even more time. eSignatures can shorten the turnaround time by as much as 90 percent.
  4. Improve accuracy. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for a signed document only to realize the recipient forgot to fill out a required piece of information. eSignature software allows you to specify mandatory fields, which, as you probably guessed, require the recipient to complete all such fields before the document can be signed.
  5. Stay organized. Keeping track of paperwork (regardless of how efficient your filing system may be) is often burdensome. eSignatures create an easily sortable, organized filing system by which you can easily store and retrieve important documents.
  6. Add an extra layer of security. Electronic documents can be protected by a variety of methods, including passcodes, encryption, two-factor authentication, and even biometric authentication methods. These methods instantly make your important documents more secure.
  7. Make things easier for customers and/or vendors. While eSignatures provide some obvious benefits for your own business, they also make things much easier for your customers, partners, suppliers, or other vendors (for many of the same reasons we’ve already covered). Customers prefer eSignature software not only because it is more convenient, but it brings a number of important advantages, including: eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth (saving time), simplifying internal processes, facilitating quicker onboarding, and increasing operational efficiency, among a laundry list of other benefits.

The Future of eSignatures

According to a report from MarketsandMarkets, one of the largest market research firms in the world, the eSignature market is expected to grow from USD $2.8 billion in 2020 to $14.1 billion by 2026. In another five years, the market will quintuple in size. So, what’s driving this incredible growth?
There are three primary factors driving the growth of the eSignature market:

  1. Online business continues to explode: More online business is good for the eSignature market. As more and more businesses move online, more legally-binding documents will be required, in order to govern and accommodate this transition. eSignatures are a necessary part of online business. As one goes, so does the other.
  2. Online security is more important than ever: It should be relatively easy to see the relationships forming here. As more business moves online, there’s more reason to protect that business. More importantly, Digital Signatures make it incredibly easy for business owners to protect their most important documents. Digital Signatures use a combination of public and private keys to encrypt and secure important documents, further reducing the risk of online fraud.
  3. Businesses will always be in the business of making money: And eSignatures can drastically reduce operational costs, thereby increasing profit margins. For example, it costs U.S. businesses nearly $8 billion each year to manage their paper documents. Going paperless brings drastic (and nearly instantaneous) cost benefits. In the end, money talks.

Even still, eSignatures simply make sense for nearly all businesses, regardless of size or industry. It simply makes business easier while saving companies time, money, and unnecessary headaches. When it’s all said and done, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see the global eSignature market outperform its five-year projections.

Ready to use eSignatures for your business? Take advantage of Signority’s 14-day free trial!

A Brief Introduction to eSignatures | What are eSignatures? (Part 1)

Making sense of electronic signatures (eSignatures) can be intimidating. In addition, the eSignature industry is still relatively young (less than 25 years old), which means it can often be more difficult to find reliable, easy-to-understand information to address all of the questions a business owner might have.

This blog post is the first in a multi-part, educational series in which we will examine a number of important eSignature-related topics in greater detail, including: eSignature basics, the history of eSignatures, laws governing the use of eSignatures, when to use eSignatures, and how to implement eSignatures in your own business, among other topics.

In Part 1 of this series, we’ll review the basics of eSignatures (components, advantages, etc.).

Understanding eSignatures

As defined by the ESIGN Act (more on this foundational piece of legislation shortly), an eSignature is “any sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”

If that definition sounds vague or unclear, don’t worry. That’s sort of the idea; it is, after all, “legal-ese”. In plain English, however, the above definition simply “states” an eSignature as a legal concept. That is, its legal definition simply means that it is possible for an eSignature to carry the same sort of legal “weight” as its pen-and-paper equivalent.

That probably doesn’t make too much sense at this very moment.

So, let’s take a closer look.

First, there is one critically important point you should understand:

In a strictly legal sense, the term “electronic signature” does not refer to an actual signature. Instead, the term refers more broadly to the process requirements (we’ll call them components) that must be met in order for an electronically signed document to be considered legally binding in a court of law.

As far as the law is concerned, a signature is simply one component of an electronically signed document. By itself, it carries no legal authority. In order for an electronic document to stand up in a court of law, all of the components must be present.

The ESIGN Act (again, more on this shortly) explicitly outlines these components in an attempt to standardize, well, the process by which an electronic document must be handled so that it carries full, legal authority.

Let’s take a quick look at the basic components of an eSignature.

Components of eSignatures

As we just reviewed, the signature itself is only one component of a legally-binding electronic document. However, there are four, primary components that you should care about most:

  1. Consent: Basically, any individual who signs an electronic document must explicitly consent to do so in the first place. Should an individual choose not to consent to an electronically signed agreement, a non-electronic option must made available.
  2. Intent: In the simplest terms, this means that the signer clearly understands his or her intent to sign the document, and the process by which the individual signed the document was clear and understood from beginning to end.
  3. Verification: For an electronic document to be considered legally binding it must be signed by the same person whose signature appears on the dotted line. In turn, most eSignature solutions have built-in verification methods.
  4. Auditability: This is the electronic equivalent of a “paper trail,” whereby each party involved in an electronic agreement (or a legal entity, for instance) can, if necessary, easily access each step of the eSignature process at any time. So, we’ve covered the legal definition of eSignatures and reviewed some of the most important components of eSignatures.

Before we go any further, though, we need to make an important distinction.

The Difference Between an eSignature and a Digital Signature

Yes, there is a difference.

In fact, if you Google “eSignature vs. digital Signature” you’ll find nearly two million search results that will tell the same story. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they are not one in the same.

So, what’s the difference then?

Remember the intentionally vague definition we reviewed earlier?

An eSignature is “any sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”

Remember that one?

Like we said earlier, that’s because “eSignature” refers to a broad category that encompasses many different types of electronic signatures. As you’ll learn shortly, this definition was created back in 2000, way before eSignatures became a widely popular, legally-binding entity.

This language was intended to be vague from the start.

But, why?

Well, lawmakers wanted to leave themselves some “wiggle room,” understanding that at some point in the future there would be many different methods to electronically sign a document. So, they wrote the law to be intentionally inclusive. What’s a digital signature then?

A digital signature is one of these specific types of eSignature. It has its own set of legal rules, standards, and governances. We won’t go into the specifics right now (but may do so in a later guide in this series). That’s an entire guide in and of itself.

For the purposes of this guide, it’s enough to simply understand that there is, in fact, a difference between the two terms.

Now, let’s take a quick look at how an eSignature works.

How to get Signed Electronically

Illustration of a Signority eSignature workflow

Thankfully, eSignature software like Signority is easy to use—even for the most inexperienced users. In fact, it’s ease of use has been one of the contributing factors to its sky-high adoption rate. Though the exact process may vary depending on software solution, the basic workflow is virtually the same.

Here’s how a basic eSignature works:

  1. A document is uploaded to a website (usually a third-party software).
  2. The document is tagged to pinpoint exactly where a signature is required.
  3. The document is then emailed to the participants who are required to sign.
  4. The signer(s) completes all required fields, then signs the document electronically.
  5. The completed document is then automatically emailed back to the original sender.
  6. The document is automatically stored for safe, secure, and easy access.

Now that you understand the basics of how eSignatures work, stay tuned for the Part 2 of this series where we talk about the benefits and history of eSignatures.

Ready to use eSignatures for your business? Take advantage of Signority’s 14-day free trial!

Sprint 42 Release Notes

Sprint 46 Release Notes

New Application Release from Signority

Up to Sprint 42

September 13, 2019

Signority users, you asked and we deliver! We have been working hard to design the features requested by you. It’s release day! With your feedback, we have released tons of features and improvements. Getting your work done is now simpler and faster. We would love to hear from you! Feedback is always welcomed.
New Features

  • Subteam
    • A billing admin and superadmins can create and manage subteams. Each subteam can view documents shared within the same subteam but not other subteams for document confidentiality. Check out Managing Subteams and Teammates.   
    • Admins can transfer document ownership.
    • Eligible team admins can configure Global Profile Settings for subteams and teammates.
    • Subteam feature is available from Team Plus and higher plans.
  • Overage for individual plans
    • Individual plan customers do not need to oversubscribe if you only need a few extra more documents before the service period ends. You will be informed of with usage notifications before the overage is effective. You will have a choice to pay overage or upgrade to a higher plan.
    • There will be no monthly document limitation to an annually paid customer.

Enhancements

  • High Performance Encrypted Digital Signature
    • The integration with GlobalSign high performance HSM (Hardware Security Module) has been completed. The enhanced digital signature is available to all team plan users at no extra cost.
  • Bulksign Template
    • No more limits to the number of bulksigners at each batch sending.
  • Overage Notifications
    • Team Billing Admin will receive two notifications when you or your team reaches 80% and 100% of the plan usage within the service period. You are given the option to upgrade or pay the overage.
  • Overlay Template