DocuSign vs. signNow: Which one is right for your startup?

by Adarsh Raj Bhatt

Photo credit: Pexels

Key Takeaways

  • DocuSign and signNow both offer efficient e-signature management solutions.
  • DocuSign is ideally suited for startups that need solutions for managing more than e-signatures. It has proven beneficial for disparate contract management.
  • signNOW is suitable for startups requiring digital signature management.
  • DocuSign has a wider user base than signNow’s.

DocuSign and signNow

DocuSign is a reliable platform for startups desiring to manage documents online with the help of e-signatures and is the market leader based on its ease of use. DocuSign empowers companies with a scalable solution for managing electronic documents on any device, regardless of time or place. These solutions are available for individuals, startups and medium-sized businesses, and enterprises as well. Users around the world attest to the flexibility that DocuSign provides once it has been incorporated in an org's apps menu.

signNow is the solution for electronic signatures that is characterized by its agility and that enables the complete automation of the business’s functioning by allowing companies to initiate agreements, deliberate over contracts, send the subsequent documents for signing, and accept payments as part of the airSlate Business Cloud. signNow provides solutions for small and medium sized businesses as well as for enterprises.

DocuSign vs signNow



Four plans available at different prices:

  • Personal: $10 per month; $120 per year
  • Standard: $25 per user per month; $300 per year
  • Business Pro: $40 per user per month; $480 per year
  • Enhanced Plans: Custom quotes are available.


Four plans are available at different prices:

  • Business: $8 per user per month, billed annually
  • Business Premium: $15 per user per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: $30 per user per month, billed annually
  • airSlate Business Cloud: $50 per user per month (5 users minimum), billed annually.

Conclusion: While both scalable solutions offer flexible pricing tiers, DocuSign offers a 30-day free trial, whereas signNow offers a free trial for 7 days only. 

DocuSign offers automated reminders and notifications with its most basic plan (Personal), while signNow provides reminders and notifications with its Business Premium Plan. Again, signNow offers personalized branding with its Business Premium Plan, whereas DocuSign offers the same with its Standard Plan. The pricing tiers for both differ from each other because the Standard Plan of DocuSign costs more than the Business Premium Plan of signNow. Similarly, DocuSign enables bulk sending with its Business Pro Plan which is priced higher than the signNow Business Premium Plan and enables bulk sending, along with the provision to sign link invites. The services offered by the Enterprise Plan of signNow, including signer attachments and requesting payments, come with the Business Pro Plan by DocuSign which costs more. 

All in all, signNow ranks higher in terms of services provided but at a lower price than DocuSign, which offers the same services for more. Even though the pricing models for signNow seem more reasonable, it is important to note that the plans offered by DocuSign come with additional features which justify the higher prices. For example, the Business Pro Plan with DocuSign offers collaborative fields, advanced fields, SMS authentication, and single-click consent. The equivalent pricing tier with signNow (the Enterprise Plan) does not offer these features. 


DocuSign: Recognized as the Top Performer in Contract Management Software (2021) and Digital Signature Software (2021). DocuSign has received accolades for being the users' choice and top web search interest by ranking in the Top 20 Contract Management Software (2020).

signNow: Recognized as the Top Performer in Digital Signature Software (2021) and ranks amongst the Top 20 Digital Signature Software (2020), based on user reviews and web search interest.

Conclusion: Though both platforms rank as the best for specific services like contract management and digital signature management, it is important to note that DocuSign offers a plethora of features with all its pricing tiers that are less compared to the features provided by signNow. This shows that both solutions are ideally suited for their core specialties and provide features accordingly. Simply put, the features of DocuSign are geared towards contract management, whereas those of signNow are geared more towards efficient digital signature management.


DocuSign: Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Apple, Smart Communications, and SAP.

signNow: Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, NetSuite, Egnyte, AWS, Oracle, Google Workspace, Google Drive, Procore, Box, Plumsail Documents, Dropbox, Word, Zapier, Gmail, ServiceNow, eSignPay, Autodesk BIM 360, SharePoint, Salesforce CPQ, Evernote, Braintree, Chargify, Google Sheets, Infusionsoft, Magento, MailChimp, Optix, Slack, Google Docs, Xero, WordPress, HubSpot, Help Scout, and OnBase.

Conclusion: Both platforms provide a host of integration options with the most widely used business apps, along with a robust API and a Zapier integration. DocuSign stands as the clear winner with around 400 native integrations. Any business can find the apps they need in the DocuSign directory.

Customer support

DocuSign: DocuSign University offers users lessons in multiple languages for customer support purposes, as well as email, online chat, and phone support. Users can opt to upgrade support with any of the plans that DocuSign provides.

signNow: Phone, email, and chat support along with a knowledge base are available. Additionally, webinars, documentation, videos, and in-person training are available to help customers.

Conclusion: Though both platforms provide several resources for helping customers, signNow offers phone support with its airSlate Business Cloud Plan only. It does not provide live online training which DocuSign does. SignNow offers video support while DocuSign does not. Customers can decide whose customer support is better based on what medium of support suits them best.


DocuSign: Industry-standard compliance such as HIPAA, IRS, SOC 1 Type 2, and SOC 2 Type 2. Apart from industry compliance measures, DocuSign adopts an all-inclusive approach towards security, including measures like AES 256-bit encryption at the application level, HTTPS transfer of all data, SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) use for optimal utilization of web-based authentication, SSO, and multi-factor and two-factor authentication for users.

signNow: GDPR compliance, CCPA compliance, 21 CFR Part 11 compliance, PCI DSS certification, SOC 2 Type II certification, HIPAA compliance, ESIGN, and UETA compliance. Other security measures include 256-bit encryption for data at rest, a detailed audit trail including IP addresses, full names, and timestamps for all activities, two-factor signer authentication, and regular testing of the Disaster Recovery Plan.

Conclusion: While both platforms comply with industry standards for security and provide top-notch security measures, it is important to note if all pricing tiers offer the appropriate security measures or not. For instance, signNow offers advanced threat protection with all its plans and HIPAA compliance and SSO with its airSlate Business Cloud plan only. DocuSign, on the other hand, offers SMS authentication and single-click consent with its Business Pro Plan and SSO, identification, and authentication with its Enhanced Plans only.

Why DocuSign?

DocuSign is worth considering because of the features it provides:

  • Powerful native integrations
  • Efficient mobile app
  • Automated reminders and notifications
  • Customized branding
  • Provision to send bulk documents
  • Provision to collect payment
  • Enterprise-level support
  • Single Sign-on
  • Industry-standard compliance
  • Transparency in clearly specifying security measures
  • Ideal for individuals, startups and medium-sized businesses, and enterprise companies
  • Flexible functioning that adds to overall ease of use

Why signNow?

signNow is worth considering because of its:

  • Advanced threat protection on all plans
  • Efficient mobile app
  • Customized branding
  • Provision to sign link invites
  • Provision to send bulk documents
  • Signer attachments
  • Provision to set reminders and notifications
  • Personal integration support (airSlate Business Cloud)
  • Calculated and conditional fields

Bottom line

DocuSign and signNow are essentially equally popular digital signature management tools that are characterized by their scalable solutions for startups and medium-sized businesses as well as for enterprises. While signNow is more cost-effective with its pricing levels lower than DocuSign's, it is important to note that DocuSign offers more services at each pricing tier for its comparatively higher prices. Besides, there is not much difference between the pricing ranges of both platforms. The slightly more expensive solutions by DocuSign may lead startup founders to ask: Is DocuSign worth it? The answer to this question would require founders to determine their expectations from the solution they are about to choose. If all they need is a simple e-signature tool for managing documents online, then signNow is the better option. But if their startup has scope for future scaling and needs more complex features and integrations, then DocuSign is the better choice. signNow offers advanced threat protection with all its plans and has an edge over DocuSign in this respect. signNow is an efficient solution for digital signature management and ideal for startups that need limited features at lower prices.

Other alternatives

HelloSign is worth considering as an alternative as well. The HelloSign versus DocuSign versus signNow comparison offers insight into the different features provided by all three platforms and for different pricing models. 

HelloSign offers over 70 integrations, DocuSign offers over 350 integrations, and signNow offers over 30 integrations. HelloSign offers the activity dashboard with its premium plan, whereas signNow offers the same with its airSlate Business Cloud Plan, for which the pricing has been disclosed. HelloSign stands a better chance for startups desiring white labeling. 

To conclude, all three platforms provide effective solutions for e-signature management, but startups are more likely to benefit if they go with the vendor that provides the features they actually need and at the best price. Otherwise, they will end up paying for something they can easily do without. 

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