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Is Pandadoc the Best Free E-signature Service and Document Automation Software?

Pandadoc was born out of a desire to meet a need: the simplification of document creation processes for real people and businesses. Mikita Mikado and Sergey Barysiuk, co-founders of Pandadoc, came up with the idea after Mikita had spent six hours putting together a business proposal. That was in 2011. Today, Pandadoc claims to make your work life a lot easier, productive, and profitable. Read on to know more about Pandadoc.

First of all, are you a business that’s looking to save time and increase sales while keeping both your customers and employees happy? Whether you're a small business or a big one, if your answer to that question is “yes”, Pandadoc might just be the total package deal you need. It’s an all-in-one document management and automation software that not only helps you to create business documents (think: proposals, contracts, forms, quotes etc.) but tracks, approves, e-signs and archives them as well.

pandadoc logo
Pandadoc logo

We’ll be sharing all the important things you need to know about Pandadoc in this post. We’ll tell you what we like about it and things we’re not crazy about and think should be improved on. This way, you’ll be able to easily decide whether or not it's the best document creation and management software for your business.

This isn't the longest review in the history of long reviews but it's as comprehensive as they come. If you're looking for a specific piece of information and would like to get right to it, feel free to click any of the headings below to get to it.

Getting Started with Pandadoc

 Let’s start by looking at the Pandadoc sign-up process. 

On Pandadoc’s homepage, you’ll find the “Start free 14-day trial” and “Request a demo” buttons. Clicking on the free-trial button takes you to the sign-up page while clicking on the request-demo button takes you to another page with a simple form.

screencapture pandadoc 2021 07 01 04 38 04 edit
Source: Pandadoc.com

Once you fill and submit the form, someone from Pandadoc will contact you to schedule your 15-minute demo and answer any questions you might have.

That’s that for requesting a demo. Now, let’s take a look at the sign-up page.

You get to the sign-up page by clicking on any of the “Start free 14-day trial” buttons on the homepage. Once there, you’re required to fill out a pop-up form with your work or business email, the field you work in and a password.

After you complete the form and click on “sign up”, another page with a more detailed form comes up which asks for your first and last name, your role, the CRM you use, number of employees etc. Fill that out, submit it and you’ll get a mail asking you to verify your email address.

Once you verify your email, you’ll be redirected to your Pandadoc account with free access to all the premium features for 14 days. That’s pretty neat, right? Now, if you don’t have a work email, you’ll be given the option of signing up to Pandadoc’s free esign plan, allowing you to create a free account. We’ll see what’s available in the free account when we talk about Pandadoc’s pricing.

Here’s what we like about Pandadoc’s Sign-up Process:

  • You don’t need a credit card to sign up. This is great as we all know how inconvenient the seemingly simple act of reaching for our cards, when we’re not in the actual process of buying anything, can be.
  • The password creation process is blissfully simple. There’s no requirement for special characters, upper case letters or numbers.
  • The use of simple, easy-to-understand prompts that help you to quickly grasp the information you need to fill the forms with. There’ll be no head-scratching, googling or emailing support for help.
  • And of course, the free access to Pandadoc’s premium features for 14 days.

Here’s what we don’t like about it:

  • There seem to be 2 different sign-up pages and there’s no telling which one you’ll land on when you click on a free-trial button. One page has a form that asks for only your work email and a password. The other has a form that includes a request for your field of work. The difference? The page with the form that asks for your field of work lets you access the free trial with all the premium features while the other page only lets you create a free account (with limited features).
pandadoc free trial signup page
But this doesn't
pandadoc signup page
This allows you to access premium features

Pandadoc Solution and Features

This document automation and esign software are as feature-rich as they come. With one user saying that Pandadoc has double the features of a popular alternative, Docusign, it’s easy to see how it’s fast becoming a favourite among many big and small businesses.

In addition to helping you collect legally-binding electronic signatures from your customers, clients and employees, it also helps you to simplify the process of creating your business documents.

Document automation solutions in Pandadoc’s collection include forms, proposals, contracts, quotes and payments. With these, you and your team can automatically create any document you need and in much less time than it already takes you to do them. And it’s all thanks to its rich library of templates and its workflow automation feature.

Before we go any further, let’s take a peek into the way these solutions work.

Forms: With these, you can collect your customers’/clients’ data with ease. What’s more, there are many templates to choose from – from registration to order form templates, application to performance assessment forms and even templates for petitions and donations.

All you’ll have to do is customise them to suit your brand’s purposes and send them out – a process that can be completed in minutes instead of hours.

Contracts and proposals: Creating professional contracts and effective proposals that look amazing – without sacrificing accuracy – is a task that Pandadoc has simplified such that you’re able to do it in under an hour. In addition to the templates, there are also clause suggestions that you can choose from. And there’s even a CRM integration feature that allows you to transfer your customers’ data into the document that you’re creating.

Quotes, payments and invoices:  It’s great how easy it is to send quotations and invoices and receive payments with these features. You can quickly create quotations and send them to your customer/client. We especially love how transparent it makes the process by allowing the customer to make changes, notifying you of such changes (we’ll talk about the tracking feature in a bit) and allowing them to contact you directly. You’ll agree with us that such an allowance can increase customer’s trust in the process and ultimately, in your brand.

Pandadoc also makes it possible for you to generate invoices and collect payments by integrating with your payment gateway. This reduces the time it takes for you to get paid as it allows you to add payment blocks in your invoices and quotes.

Pandadoc templates: Even though we’ve already mentioned the templates while discussing other features, we’d like to mention that, at the time of this review, Pandadoc boasts an impressive 450+ professionally done templates. Did we mention that you can also create your own templates? Well, yes, you can.

183 proposal templates in Pandadoc library

Source: Pandadoc.com

Here’s what we like about Pandadoc’s Features:

  • Thanks to its many features, you can get so much work done without leaving your dashboard. From esigning documents to collecting your customers’ esignatures, designing and branding your documents to collaborating with your team on them, analytics, automating workflows and so much more.
  • It’s a huge plus that your customers can edit proposals, quotes and pretty much any documents you send them. And that you’re notified every time changes are made. This not only saves time, that would have been lost to all the back and forth usually involved in this process, it’s also increases trust and ultimately, sales.
  • It's also great for collaborating as a team and makes remote working particularly easy as members of a team can track changes to documents in real time. Yeah, we think that that's really nice. (You can check out our piece on delegating tasks during remote working for some tips you might find helpful)
  • In addition to notifying you every time your customer acts on a contract, proposal or any document you send them, Pandadoc lets you schedule reminders so that you don’t forget to perform relevant next steps on the documents.
  • We love that you’re also able to create documents and customise templates to reflect your brand colours. It’s also great that customised templates and documents are reusable. It makes it easy to keep your brand message consistent.
  • The ability to store all your documents in a place makes it easy to access them when you need to quickly find specific documents.
  • It's also available as an app for Android and iOS devices. The web version is also great on mobile devices.
Pandadoc dashboard immediately after sign up
Your dashboard just after you sign up.
Source: Pandadoc.com

Here’s what we don’t like about Pandadoc Features:

  • There’s a learning curve that, depending on your tech skills, might take a bit of time to go through.
  • More language options (maybe a translator feature) would be great for when a document’s receiver isn’t proficient in English language.
  • It doesn’t allow for more than one photo to be uploaded per time – which is a bummer, if you ask us. It sure would be nice and time-saving to be able to upload more photos per time.

Integrations: What does Pandadoc integrate with?

You can work with the tools you love as Pandadoc integrates seamlessly with several other applications. Here’s a list of some of the tools the esigning and document management software integrates with (based on category):

CRMPaymentStorageProductivityIntegration platformsAdminDesign
HubSpotStripeGoogle DriveGmailZapier ConnectorsSingle Sign-onCanva
SalesmatePayPalDropboxSlackIntegromat
Zendesk SellSquareBoxMicrosoft Word
PipedriveFreshBooks NewMicrosoft OneDriveGoogle Sheets
ZohoAuthorize.Net
CopperQuickBooks Payments
InsightlyQuickBooks Online
Nimble
Microsoft Dynamics
Pipeliner
Salesforce

Then there’s Pandadoc API which lets you integrate Pandadoc features into your application and website. This means that you can collect your customers’ electronic signatures, generate documents and get notified when your customers act on documents you’ve sent them.

Here’s what we like about Pandadoc Integrations:

  • The integrations are easy to set up so you don’t need to be a programmer or coder to integrate your favourite tools.
  • Integrations promote smooth transition from one task to another.

Here’s what we don’t like:

  • While the functionality of the integrations is great, they could be more robust for a richer user experience.

Pandadoc Pricing

Depending on your business’s needs, you can sign up for any of the 4 plans on offer. There’s the free esign, the essentials, the business and the enterprise plans.

The Free esign plan is what you’re automatically signed up to when you sign up without a work email. It allows you to collect as many esignatures as your business needs – all of them legally binding and secure. You can also upload as many documents as you like and collect payments on the free esign plan. Many small business owners use this plan and they’ve reported great satisfaction with it. If yours is a small business, this might work for you as well.

With the Essentials plan, you get everything in the free esign plan plus access to Pandadoc’s templates, drag-and-drop editor for documents, document tracking and analytics and around-the-clock support via chat or email. Subscription to this plan costs $19/month for each user which means that for a team of 3, it would cost $19 times 3 per month.

Upgrading to the Business plan gives you all the features of the essential plan plus access to CRM integrations, workflow automation and approvals, Zapier integrations, bulk document sending, customised document branding and forms. This plan is the most popular with users and subscribing to it costs $49 per month for each user.

The Enterprise plan comes with all the features of the other plans plus single sign-on (SSO), customised user roles, integrations, user performance, content reporting, content locking, unrestricted number of workspaces for your different teams, API and 24/7 customer support. To subscribe to this plan, you’ll need to contact Pandadoc. They’ll be able to find a payment plan that works best for your business.

About the brand

Pandadoc was born out of a desire to meet a need: the simplification of document creation processes for real people and businesses. Mikita Mikado and Sergey Barysiuk, co-founders of Pandadoc, came up with the idea after Mikita had spent six hours putting together a business proposal. That was in 2011.

It's been a decade since its inception and the brand has grown into an ecosystem of document creation and processing solutions with an increasing customer base worldwide.

Our verdict on Pandadoc

With all of the functionality and options it offers, Pandadoc can make your work life a lot easier, productive, and profitable. Moreover, its responsive and helpful support that’s manned by real humans (not bots, thank God!) makes it easy to get guidance when you need it. Finally, while we agree that this document management software is top-tier, we would love to see a budget-friendlier version with more of the premium features which, in our opinion, would be more cost-effective for smaller businesses.

Want to check out Pandadoc? Click here to try Pandadoc.

WhatsApp Image 2021 08 06 at 6.58.50 PM
Chinaza Grace
Content writer with a focus on helping businesses become favorite brands | Writer of sales and promotional copy that sell.

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