In 2021, it seems that electronic signatures are the answer to all our problems. Gone are the days when you needed to use archaic technology like printers, scanners, or fax machines to send and receive signed documents. This answer couldn’t have come at a better time, considering that everyone is doing all they can to stay safe and distanced in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But this rapid shift in technology has left many people stuck playing catch up, especially if they’re not particularly tech-savvy. Thankfully, you don’t need a degree in computer science to learn how to sign a document electronically. Instead, all you need to do is read this post.
What is an electronic signature?
An electronic signature or e-signature is a legal way to replace a traditional handwritten or wet signature when signing documents. But what does this actually look like in practice? Instead of physically signing a piece of paper, you do everything online.
The documents are sent to you with designated places to sign. Depending on the software, you may have the option to “draw” your signature with your mouse or simply click a “sign” button that will insert a signature with a timestamp and your computer’s IP address. Many programs will let you choose the appearance of your electronic signature based on different fonts.
At the end of the day, however, the appearance of the signature isn’t really important. What matters is that it is a legally accepted alternative to the annoyance of having to print out, hand sign, scan, and re-send a document.
Why use an electronic signature instead of a handwritten signature?
If you’re old-school, it’s understandable that you may be hesitant to use electronic signatures instead of handwritten signatures. You may have concerns about the safety or legality of this type of signature. However, Revv can allay some of these concerns by going over some of the benefits of using electronic signatures. By the end of this post, you’ll definitely be more comfortable using them.
- While you may think documents that are electronically signed are less secure than hand-signed hard-copy documents, that’s definitely not the case. When you electronically sign a document, you aren’t simply typing your name on the line. Instead, you are essentially “stamping” it with traceable information like the date, time, and location of signature — none of which are found with hand-signed documents. Additionally, hard-copy documents are often lost or damaged in transit, a risk that is removed by utilizing electronic signatures.
- Signing documents electronically is simple and intuitive once you get the hang of it — no matter how much you struggle with technology. If you can open up a link on your computer or send an email, you can figure out electronic signatures. It really shouldn’t take you more than a couple of clicks to get the process down.
- Another advantage of using electronic signatures relates to time. If you feel there’s never enough time in a day to complete everything on your to-do list, then you could definitely benefit from using electronic signatures. Instead of going through a long, drawn-out process with multiple steps to hand-sign a document, all you need to do to e-sign is open a link and click a few times.
For example, in really long contracts, like real estate agreements or MSAs in which you need to sign every single page, it can get quite tedious and time consuming. Instead you just click-click-click after reviewing the doc and you’re done. This makes it easy to sign specific documents that normally would have you sign multiple times on different pages. Something that would have taken you at least 15 minutes to do, with the right electronic signature can be done now in seconds. . And once you’re done with your part, the document is immediately sent back to the owner, completed and legally valid.
- In an ideal world, you’d be able to meet with all your clients and business partners face-to-face. However, that’s not always possible — especially with globally run businesses. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be an issue with the use of electronic signatures. Instead of having to line up schedules for an in-person meeting and spending time traveling to different locations to gather signatures, this can all be done online pretty much instantaneously.
If the potential cost of utilizing electronic signatures is deterring you, you may want to reconsider. Electronic signatures actually end up being more cost-effective than signing by hand. While the costs of hand-signing aren’t as obvious or upfront, they still exist. For example, the costs of paper, postage, travel, and time all apply for hand-signed documents. On the other hand, electronic signature subscriptions are affordable and can actually save you money in the long run.
- Finally, if you’re looking to improve your customers’ experience, implementing e-signing is a great way to do this. Many customers have come to expect a paperless business experience in the 21st century and will view hard-copy documents and wet signatures as a major inconvenience. So make their lives easier in addition to your own by embracing electronic signatures for your business.
How to electronically sign a document?
Thankfully, electronically signing documents is a quick and easy process. That being said, it may be a little bit confusing if you’ve never done it before — which is why the entire process is broken down for you step-by-step here. Also, bear in mind that the exact signing process will vary depending on the format you’re using, so this is just a general guide on what to expect.
- The document is sent to you either via email or a message and is ready for signature — click on the document to open it and review it before you’re ready to sign.
- In most cases, the specific locations in the document that require a signature will be clearly highlighted for you.
- Before you actually begin signing, you will need to create your electronic signature. In some cases, you can skip this step and go right into step 4 depending on how your sender has configured the process. If not, then you will need to generate it yourself. Some will also generate your name into a cursive font. You may be able to choose the font or overall appearance of your signature. In other cases, you may be able to actually draw in your signature with your mouse or with your stylus/finger on the phone.
- Once your signature is ready to go, all you need to do is click on each signature space, and your electronic signature will automatically populate in that location.
- After filling in all signature or initial spaces on the document, click “save” or “complete” so that the document is sent back to the sender, ready to go with all your signatures.
Revv can change the way you sign documents
When it comes to electronic signatures, there are many formats out there to choose from. However, if you’re looking for an electronic signature platform that is affordable, secure, and easy to use, you need to check out Revv. Revv gives you access to a comprehensive and user-friendly platform with all the features you need to draft, review, and sign documents for your business.
The first step in the process involves drafting the document to be signed. Revv also enables you to complete documents by converting data into form fields. These form fields can be created in templates itself. This not only gives the user better control but can be used to be sent to recipients for filling up of relevant information before they sign. Finally, you can also upload fillable word documents or pdfs (or pdfs that come with editable fields or tokens) which can be sent to signatories. The platform also comes with 1000+ templates that you can use when you start drafting.
From there, it’s time to send out your documents for review. Revv allows you to include relevant attachments to the signed document to make the process easy and straightforward for the signer.
Finally, it’s time to sign your consent. In addition to robust electronic signature capabilities, Revv also includes the option to incorporate a soft-sign signature. This action is similar to when you click “I agree” when accepting cookies, downloading an app, or creating an account.
Speaking of apps and mobile phones, another great thing about Revv is that it’s totally mobile-friendly. As a result, you’re able to really make your clients’ lives easier since they don’t have to open their laptop in order to access and sign the document. Instead, they can do it right from the phone that’s constantly in their hand. Additionally, Revv features an additional layer of protection through SMS-based recipient authentication — ensuring that the entire process is quick, easy, and secure.
eSignatures are the future
Electronic signatures are the way of the future as more and more businesses go paperless and implement this convenient technology. Soon, it will be totally expected that you only accept electronic signatures rather than handwritten ones.
If you’re looking for the best electronic signature technology out there, look no further than Revv. Revv allows you to create, manage, track, and collect electronic signatures in multiple ways to reach clients near and far in an instant.