How To Create an Electronic Signature in 5 Simple Steps

If you want to create a usable email signature in a few minutes, SignNow is the best option for most people, thanks to its range of features and how easy it is to set up. You can try it now for free, no credit card required

Once upon a time, everything needed to be signed by hand. But things have changed, and now, having a digital signature is non-negotiable in the digital age. Whether it’s for work contracts, rental applications, or just signing an email, there are plenty of reasons you might need an electronic signature. 

But, having a consistent and professional signature can be challenging if you don’t know how or you don’t have software to help. In this guide, we’ll break down exactly how you can create an electronic signature and how to use it to make your life easier. 

How To Create an Electronic Signature in 5 Simple Steps

The 11 Best Software For Creating an Electronic Signature 

To be able to create a digital email signature, you’ll need to use an online software tool that can help you with the technical side of things. Here are our top picks for the best options on the market right now based on our extensive research into user reviews, functionality, and features being offered. 

  • SignNow – Best value electronic signature software
  • SignWell – Best free electronic signature software
  • SIGN.PLUS – Best electronic signature app
  • PandaDoc – Best for document management
  • DocuSign – Best multi-purpose electronic signature software
  • HelloSign – Best for legally binding documents
  • Adobe Sign – Best for small businesses
  • Signeasy – Best for individual and personal use
  • KeepSolid Sign – Best for signing documents offline
  • GetAccept – Best for B2B sales
  • SignRequest – Best for simplifying the e-signature process
Company logos for our best electronic signature software

Create an Email Signature in 5 Easy Steps

If you use software to help, creating an email signature is fast and easy – it only takes about 5 minutes before your signature is set up and you can start using it. 

Although any of the software we’ve listed above are great options, we’ll be using SignNow for the purposes of this tutorial, because it’s really easy to use, it’s reliable, and comes with plenty of great integration options. Plus, it offers new users a free trial so you can start right away and test it yourself with no commitment.  

Here are the steps we’ll be breaking down for creating your electronic signature:

  1. Sign Up to SignNow
  2. Update Your User Profile 
  3. Manage Your Signature 
  4. Edit Your Signature 
  5. Start Using Your Signature 

Step 1: Sign up to SignNow

The first step to creating an electronic signature is to sign up for an electronic signature software. We’re choosing SignNow because it’s simple to use and multifunctional, so whether you need it for something serious like a contract, or something fun like signing a blog post, there are features to make it easier.  

For new users, you get a free trial, so you can get started without needing a credit card or committing to a plan. Just head over to the home page and click on Free Trial.

Screenshot of SignNow homepage with a red arrow pointing to Free trial button
Start your free trial with SignNow. 

You’ll then be asked to verify your email and add a password to set up your account, and then you’ll be able to access your dashboard and start using the different features. 

There are a lot of different features included, like creating documents or migrating them from Docusign, but we’re just going to focus on using SignNow to create an email signature. 

Once you’re signed up and have access to your dashboard, you can move on to the next step. 

Step 2: Update Your User Profile 

Once you’ve created an account with SignNow, head over to your user profile to set up your signature. 

You’ll be asked to add a little information like your first and last name, and then you’ll get three options for creating your signature. 

The first option is just to get a signature generated for you by SignNow. If you just want something simple, this is an easy option because SignNow will generate a signature with your first and last name, as well as initials, that you can use for any kind of electronic signing. 

Screenshot of SignNow user profile where you can add your signature
Start by creating a basic electronic signature. 

We would recommend trying to create a signature with one of the later steps that looks like the one you do by hand, but if you just want something simple, this works great and will give you something consistent to use online. 

As a word of warning, if you are planning to sign anything important or official, this might be too simple for you. If you don’t have a consistent signature from hand-drawn to electronic, it can make it hard to verify you actually signed something, which is the point of a signature. 

Once you’ve updated your profile and SignNow has generated a basic signature and initials for you, save them and then move on to the next step. 

Step 3: Manage Your Signature

Once you’ve saved your profile in SignNow, click on Manage Your Signature. You’ll then see an option to Add a New Signature – click on this.

Screenshot of SignNow Manage Signature page with red arrow pointing to Add New Signature button
Add your new signature to your profile. 

Once you do, you can choose to either draw your signature with a cursor or upload an image of a signature you’ve drawn by hand. 

Screenshot of SignNow page to add signature with red arrows pointing to Draw Your Signature and Upload Your Signature options
Choose to draw your signature by hand or upload an image of your handwriting. 

Drawing your signature by hand is fast, but it can be a little tricky to create an accurate signature using a keyboard cursor, especially with a laptop. 

It’s easier to create an accurate and professional-looking signature by choosing the draw-by-hand option, but it does take a little longer as you have to take a photo and then upload it for SignNow to scan and convert.

Choose your favorite option, and then once you are happy with a choice, save it, and move on to the next step. 

Step 4: Edit Your Signature 

You might have noticed that when you click the option to add your signature, you also have the option to change the style. 

Screenshot of SignNow page to add signature with red arrow pointing to Change Style button
Customize your signature by choosing a style that works for you. 

If you click on this option, you can customize the auto-generated version of your signature that includes either your full name or initials.

This is another good option if you want to keep things simple but you also want to personalize your signature. For example, if you’re using a signature mainly for branding purposes, like adding a signature to commercial emails or to blog posts.

Screenshot of SignNow signature style options
Examples of different styles to choose from. 

Once you’ve played around with the different styles and formats, you can choose your favorite signature and make it your default. 

Then, move on to the next step. 

Step 5: Start Using Your Signature 

Once you’ve created your electronic signature, you can then start putting it into practice. 

One of the best things about SignNow, and one of the reasons we recommend them, is their great functionality when it comes to using your signature. 

Not only can you upload all your documents directly into the platform by uploading them from your computer or from a cloud service, but you can also integrate SignNow with tons of other platforms to help you add your signature easily. 

These include cloud storage options like Box and Google Drive, as well as things like Gmail and Microsoft word. 

Screenshot of SignNow Integrations page
Integrate your signature into different business apps you use. 

You can also create your own documents and send them to other people asking them to sign, or share signed documents with your team. Depending on what you need to do, you’ll likely find an integration available in SignNow that lets you use your signature wherever you want to. 

Final Thoughts About Creating an Email Signature 

As the world becomes more digital, it’s pretty much a necessity to have an electronic signature. And when you consider how useful it is to have one and how easy it is to set up, there’s really no downside to creating an online signature. 

Especially when combined with document signing software like SignNow, you can elevate your branding and sign documents safely with virtually no effort on your part. You can try them for free here and create your own electronic signature in minutes. 

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