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New Feature: Data Exporter

By: Steve Stormoen / Thursday, November 29, 2012

Have you ever needed to make a quick spreadsheet to review the data collected in your signed RightSignature documents? Or import that data into a database or another software system? Well, now you can do that, thanks to a new feature we’re calling Data Exporter.

Data Exporter?

Couldn’t you have called it something intimidating, like “Big Data Cloud Optimization”? Well, we could have, except that we believe in building simple, elegant, easy-to-understand features… and this one actually lets you export data collected in your documents. What exactly does that mean? Let’s break it down:

Which Data? This is the data that signers input into each field of your RightSignature documents. Fields include text fields, date fields, even check boxes. Data can be exported from Reusable Templates, Online Forms, and documents with tags attached.
Exporting Where? Exporting means taking the data from each signed document and compiling it together into one properly formatted CSV file. This file can then be easily transferred into a spreadsheet for easy sorting, searching, and record keeping, or into a database or other internal software system.

Exporting Data from a Reusable Template

Say, for example, you use RightSignature to get your employment forms signed online. These forms have many fields that can be time consuming to set up each time you need to onboard a new hire. RightSignature Reusable Templates instead allow you to create each employment form as a Template that you can reuse, sending the same document with the same fields to every new employee you hire. And with just a few more clicks, the new Data Exporter lets you extract that data to build an instant employee database, create a spreadsheet, or import it into other software (like BambooHR’s HR software for small business).

You’ll find Reusable Template Data Export in the Reporting section of your account, under the tab Data Exporter. Simply select the time frame, the Template you want to receive data from, and the columns of data you want to receive, then click “Export CSV.”


RightSignature will then compile the data you requested for you—just click “Download Export” to grab the file. Open the downloaded file in your spreadsheet software of choice to view, sort, and analyze all of your collected data in one easy file. Note that it’s wise when setting up your templates to name your fields using the “Component Reference Name” option, so the column titles of your exports are more easily understandable.

Exporting Data from Tagged Documents

To export data from your tagged documents, follow the process above, but select a tag from the Data Exporter screen instead of filtering by template. You will be able to choose any data columns from your tagged documents to export to a CSV file.

For users on Gold and Enterprise accounts using Document Packaging, tag your individual Reusable Templates, and you will be able to export data from signed document packages using the Data Exporter with filtering by tags.

Exporting Data from Online Forms

Exporting data is a core feature of Online Forms – which are designed for the distribution of a single document to multiple signers, either by embedding on your website or emailing a link. When you ready to extract all the data collected, navigate to Online Forms, select a Form, then click Responses.

We’re always thinking of new ways to make the best digital signature software even better for you and for your business. Have feature ideas or suggestions? Send us a note or post your idea on our idea forum.

Yammer Add-On for RightSignature: eSignatures for Your Enterprise Team

By: Steve Stormoen / Monday, November 19, 2012


Move over email: Yammer is the new paradigm for social communication and collaboration in the enterprise. A full-fledged social network (think Facebook for your business), Yammer enables a large team to communicate effectively, generate and share content across a large, distributed network, and share and collaborate on important files. Yammer is used by 85% of the Fortune 500, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Yammer is immediately usable for everyone on your team. It’s especially useful for team members that don’t all work in the same office (and what business doesn’t have at least a couple telecommuters these days?). Yammer accounts are also sharable with external networks, allowing your customers and contacts to sign up for visitor access to your Yammer network as well.

Now, with the new RightSignature integration, you can send important documents to your Yammer contacts, both inside and outside your company, quickly and effortlessly. In addition, RightSignature will post to the User's private activity screen when a document has been sent or signed. Here’s how it works:
  1. After installing the Yammer add-on in RightSignature, login to RightSignature and choose the document you wish to send. If you run a massive remote workforce like Support.com’s Ericka Tate, you might choose your Employment Handbook, Non-Disclosure Agreement, or other employee onboarding forms.
  2. In the “Signer” field, begin typing your Yammer contact’s name. RightSignature will recognize and automatically suggest your Yammer contacts in the drop-down box below.
  3. Select your Yammer contact and click send. That’s it, you’re done. Your contact will receive an email with a link to sign the document using RightSignature’s powerful electronic signature software, and as soon as they do, it will be returned to you instantly and automatically. Your private activity screen in Yammer will also be updated with a post notifying you that the document has been signed.
An Le, VP of Business Development for Yammer, says:
Yammer's best-in-class enterprise social network empowers employees to collaborate easily in order to get work done better and faster. Likewise, RightSignature takes the old model of slow, painful document signing and makes it quick and efficient. The partnership between Yammer and RightSignature is an exciting one, and we look forward to sharing this functionality with our users.”
RightSignature is excited to have Yammer as our latest integration partner. By combining Yammer’s social communication with RightSignature’s powerful document execution, companies can manage their interactions and document workflows better than ever before.

The Right Way: Threadless Makes T-Shirts That You Wear on Your Body

By: Steve Stormoen / Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our series “The Right Way” profiles RightSignature power users, revealing their success secrets and the technology tools they use every day.
Part art and design community, part internet fashion hub, Threadless has developed a cult following by producing some of the most stylish t-shirts on the internet. In the 12 years that Threadless been in business, they have grown in size and scope, and have even moved into brick-and-mortar retail. RightSignature’s Steve Stormoen caught up with Threadless Founder and Chief Community Officer Jake Nickell to get the skinny on Threadless and hear his thoughts on art, business, technology, and the internet.

Tell us about Threadless. What’s your origin story?

Jake Nickell: Threadless started in November of 2000. I was 20 years old, a full time web developer and going to art school part time. When I wasn't working or in school, I participated in an online art forum called Dreamless.org. Threadless started as a thread on that forum: I asked people to post up t-shirt designs and then made the best ones into designs we could all have. It was a hobby, never really meant to be a business. Over the years it kept growing and growing to the point that I had to drop out of school and then eventually quit my job to support it. At that point it really turned into a business. The premise has always been the same. Artists around the world submit designs, they get voted on and we make and sell the best designs, paying the artists.

A large part of what you do seems to be based on your community of designers and supporters. How do you use your community base to grow your customer base, and vice versa?

JN: A lot of our growth comes organically just due to our business model. With our community-based model, each design that gets submitted, printed or not, becomes a little piece of content that gets spread around the Internet. Friends tell their friends to vote on it, some of those people end up submitting designs too and it just keeps snowballing. It's also a great tool for artists to use to get exposure. Designs uploaded to Threadless get seen by a lot of people and the best ones really blow up!

You’ve been maintaining an business and a community online for 12 years, which is an eternity to the internet. How have you seen the internet change during that time, and how has Threadless dealt with those changes?

JN: When Threadless started community online meant forums or bulletin boards. Things have changed a lot since then and now there are amazing, massive social communities like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc that have dominated community online. It's funny because you'd think as the internet gets more 'social', it'd be easier for companies to tap into that. In our case, I think it's actually been more difficult to keep people on Threadless since they have all these other places they can participate now.

As for commercially, I think e-commerce has just kept growing and growing so you get more and more people comfortable shopping online which has really helped. The tools businesses have access to now are also way more powerful and prevalent. When we first started we built everything ourselves, fulfillment software, shopping carts, etc ... but now you can leverage third party services for just about everything you need to do and have the time to just focus on what makes your business unique.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken with Threadless? Did it pay off? If so, how?

JN: I'd say the biggest risk I've taken with Threadless has been to start to work with major retailers to distribute our products. There is a bit of a disconnect in our community between our artists and customers when it comes to this point. Our artists really want their work to be seen and distributed everywhere so they can get great exposure for their work and because it's just cool to see something you made in a major retail store.

On the other hand, our customers like to keep Threadless small and special to them and don't want everyone to have access to all of the unique designs. We found a balance though by differentiating the product sold at retail from the product sold on our site. This allowed us to print even more artists and also keep the product on our site special to Threadless. It paid off and our retail partnerships are going great! I think it was worth the years of careful consideration and creative thinking that went into figuring out the right way to do this.

Tell us how you use RightSignature, and what are your 4 other favorite online tools?

JN: RightSignature has been crucial to managing the contracts we use for the artwork we print. Since we started using RightSignature a few months ago we've had nearly 1,000 signed contracts come in from all over the world. The key part for us is being able to use the Online Forms Share Link feature in all of our email notifications which makes sending out the contracts super easy. We send out tons of bulk emails and not having to set up and send each one manually is a life saver. All we have to do is check the email we get once someone has signed.

Some other great tools we use online to manage our business are Basecamp, Pivotal Tracker, Google Docs and Custora.

Power User Tip: Signer Help Text

By: Steve Stormoen / Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Do you have explicit instructions for your signers on how to complete your electronic signature documents? You might not be aware that RightSignature already contains the perfect tool to help them fill out each document correctly on the first try: Signer Help Text.


Signer help text messages are short instructions you can associate with any RightSignature text field, checkbox, or signature box. When the signer hovers their mouse over that field, your custom message will appear to help them complete your document correctly. Here’s how to add signer help text to your next electronic signature document or template.
  1. Login to RightSignature and choose to send a new document or create a new reusable template.
  2. On the document creation screen, click the “Text” box from the Tools menu and drag it onto your document, where you would like to place your drop-down menu.
  3. In the Options menu that pops up, click on the “Extras” tab.
  4. In the “Signer guidance help text” section, type out the message you would like your signer to see.
  5. Click Save.

Once you send the document, the signer will see your pop-up help text when they hover the mouse over that text field, giving clear and simple instructions to help your document signing go as smoothly as possible.

Online Contracts: Legal Agreements on the Web

By: Steve Stormoen / Thursday, November 8, 2012


Why are we still using QWERTY keyboards? This layout comes from the days of typewriters, and was designed not for speed or ergonomics, but to keep the keys from jamming! And yet that layout has stuck with us from typewriters to computer keyboards to the virtual keyboard on your smartphone or tablet, whose keys almost certainly never jam. The reason being: the QWERTY layout, though imperfect, is what everyone already knows. Not only is the layout familiar to us, it’s comfortable, and that familiarity and comfort is more useful to us than the superior typing speed and ergonomics of a competing layout, like Dvorak.

The same principle applies with a business contract, which traces its lineage to even earlier than the typewriter. That contract has evolved from a simple handshake to a contract written by hand, then with a typewriter, a word processing machine, and now a PC, sending documents seamlessly over the internet. However, no matter how much of our workflow we’ve shifted online, most people don’t view a contract as valid until each party signs with a personal, handwritten signature.

Unfortunately, this usually also means printing the document out on paper, faxing it away, and waiting for it to be faxed back. Logically, this seems absurd: electronic documents are the reigning global standard, and email is now three decades old. However, a look at history can help us understand why signatures are so important, and how we can update this standard for now-mainstream technology.

Act I: Before Signed Contracts, Handshakes and Wax Seals

A mere few hundreds of years ago, before literacy was widespread and paper documents were ubiquitous, the signature as we understand it today did not exist in the western world. Agreements between two parties were generally made verbally, face to face, with a handshake to seal the deal. This had the advantage of allowing the deal to be negotiated and agreed upon by both parties in person. And while the social pressures of an in-person meeting made for a strong incentive to keep one’s word, most deals settled over a handshake couldn’t have had any sort of outside mechanism of enforcement, or any indelible record to confirm the precise wording of the contract. As a result, these contracts were generally very simple, limiting the types of agreements that could be made.

The other ancient ancestor of the modern signature is the personalized wax seal, used to verify the sender of a confidential letter or other communication. These seals had the same benefits and drawbacks as the handshake deal, but in reverse: the written letter could be complicated and precise in its wording, and didn’t require both parties present to reach an agreement. However, the correspondence generally went in one direction, mirroring the political order of the times—those rich enough to be literate and have a personal wax seal generally gave orders by fiat, rather than through negotiation.

Interestingly, handshake deals and the digital versions of wax seals still have their place in today’s world, but are obviously no longer the dominant mode of doing business.

Act II: The Rise and Growth of Written Contracts

If we’d had hashtags back in the day, #democracy would have been trending around the same time as #literacy did in Western Europe and their new American colonies. With enthusiastic nations adopting freedom and equality as foundational political concepts, a person’s consent and the legal need to obtain it was gaining increased importance in government and business. Add these elements together and you get perhaps the most famous signature in history: John Hancock’s oversized flourish is a fixture on the US Declaration of Independence.

Technology has since enabled contracts to become longer, more complex, more precise. and more numerous. The advent of typewriters, mimeographs, word processing machines, photocopiers, and finally PCs have repeatedly revolutionized the way we compose, reproduce, and distribute paper documents. The time and money saved has allowed us to both make signed contracts not only longer—anyone who has spent time structuring a contract or involved with a case in a court of law, with hulking statements and appeals paperwork, would readily agree—but more plentiful as well. On your lunch break today, for example, if you pay with a card at a restaurant, you’ll likely have to sign your receipt to complete the transaction.

All that paper comes with a price, however. First is the monetary cost of such extensive printing, then the environmental cost of all that paper and ink, and finally the cost in labor and convenience to keep track of thousands upon millions of important contracts, receipts, and other paperwork. This is the problem that electronic signatures seek to fix, but haven’t fully yet.

Act III: Online Contracts and the Future of Business

The reason we see electronic signature software as an essential tool for any modern office, besides its benefits for the efficiency and cost savings of your business, is the way it evolves contracts and the way we do business itself. But most attempts at creating a standard electronic replacement for the handwritten signature have flopped for the same reason as poor Dvorak: they fail to integrate the habits we’re used to, and fail to understand why those habits are important.

Electronic signature legislation such as the E-SIGN Act and UETA define an electronic signature not as a stylish writing of one’s name, but rather as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process … executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” But these more abstract electronic signatures have failed to catch on beyond click-to-sign EULA agreements that no one ever reads, and are truthfully designed to not be read.

RightSignature, which offers a free trial for new users, is the only electronic signature software that understands and reinvents the way we have become accustomed to signing contracts. What makes an electronic signature an accepted standard needs to be what makes handwritten signatures so intuitive: when a person writes their handwritten signature on a document, they are symbolically pledging on the strength of their name—on their reputation as a person—to the truth of that document, and to their intention to fulfill its terms.

We are already experiencing a future that promises even an even greater portion of our workflow shifting online—with the rise of online software programs like Google Docs, contracts are now being composed collaboratively and entirely online, with the redlines of either party easily defined and discussed. Shifting to electronic signatures as a standard for closing these documents simply means utilizing the symbols and habits we’ve come to expect from paper contracts and moving them online, to the same space as the rest of our workflow, with all the associated benefits in efficiency and cost.

With the API integrations that the best cloud-based SaaS programs have built with one another, forward-thinking professionals are already composing contracts in an online office app. These users are sending their documents for signature in RightSignature to a contact from their CRM, then storing the completed document in their cloud storage service of choice, without ever even having to download the file to local storage.

We rely on technological advances to make our workflow continually newer, faster, and better. However, it’s by connecting these advantages to the structures people already understand, like a handwritten signature, that technology and business truly progress. This is the evolution of business.

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