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Signature Revamp and a Simplified Template System

Signature Revamp and a Simplified Template System
We made some big changes to the way we do online signatures and templates in this last release and I’m excited to tell you about them!

Signature Update

Previously, some customers found our online signatures a bit limited in a few ways:

  • You needed to pre-sign the proposal before it was sent out, there was no way to sign after your client.
  • You couldn’t have multiple signers.
  • You needed to draw your signature with your mouse or trackpad, there was no way to type the signature.

I’m happy to say this is all fixed in the latest release.

To start, click on the signature button in the toolbar and you’ll notice there’s a list of internal and client contacts. If someone needs to sign the proposal, just drag their name onto the page.

You can add client contacts here if you need to and insert their name. Notice we show their name right in the button so it’s clear where they need to click even if you haven’t manually added their name below.

Now when you click the send button to compose your email, you’ll see a signature icon next to all the people who are required to sign.

Note that in order to use the new signature tool you need to send the email through our system just like in Docusign or other signature apps. This is so we can verify each email address with a unique ID and be sure that it’s the right person signing.

If you copy/paste the preview link to send to your client, you won’t get open/view notifications, or view metrics, and the client will need to verify their email address in order to sign.

You’ll notice that the email has variables for the first name and last name. Don’t replace these values or else everyone receiving the email will see the same name. Leaving the variables means that when John receives his email, he sees his name and not someone else's.

If you don’t like the default email design you can now click on “plain mode”.

Once that’s checked your email will look like a standard email from your regular email client like Outlook or Gmail.

We do plan to roll out an email design editor in the near future so you can customize the emails more to your liking.

If you want to double check how the email and proposal will look, you can now send yourself a test email.

When you click that button you’ll get an example of what your client will receive in their inbox.

If you click the link you’ll see a red bar at the top of the screen showing that this is a test preview. You cannot sign the proposal in this state, so don’t copy/paste the URL and send that to your client.

Visit the snapshot page to see who has signed the proposal and who hasn’t. If you are meant to sign the proposal, you’ll see a “sign here” link which will take you to your unique preview.

Your signature button will be highlighted and clickable whereas signature buttons meant for other parties will be grey and unclickable.

When you click the button you’ll now have the option to type your signature, which is much easier for clients.

As soon as someone signs the proposal, their signature will be visible in the proposal and it will show a date-stamp of when they signed.

When you visit the snapshot, you’ll see the date of who has signed. If there’s a person who hasn’t signed you have the option to send them an individual reminder.

You’ll get an email notification every time a party signs the proposal, and the proposal will not be considered accepted until every party has signed.

Voiding proposals

To be compliant with international e-sign laws, we will warn you if you try to restore a signed proposal to be editable as it will void the proposal, and automatically email all the parties letting them know their signatures are now void. Be careful about this!

We hope these new upgrades to signatures help you get proposals signed faster, easier, and more securely!

Template Improvements

Themes are no more! We’ve merged templates and themes into one thing.

Notice there is only a templates menu item, not a theme item any more.

OK, this requires a bit of explanation, so bear with me:

The way things used to work was that a template was just like a reusable proposal with a list of sections (the content). Then there was a theme, which was like a list of style instructions for the cover, typography, tables, and page size/orientation (the design).

They were two distinct entities so you could replace a proposal with one theme for another.

This caused a lot of confusion for many users:

  • They didn’t realize that updating a theme style was updating all their proposals and templates using that theme.
  • It meant that you had to import a system template and know to import the corresponding theme.
  • People also couldn’t figure out what “unlocking” elements meant on the cover and how that was a way to make changes to a cover without changing the theme.



Example: Change your theme in one spot and it updates every proposal or template using that theme.

In short, it was kind of a mess, and not one of my prouder moments as a UX designer. It took us a while to figure out how to make things work in a way that was simple and understandable.

Here’s how it works now:

Your template contains a theme in the background. If you generate a proposal from the template it copies over that theme so you can safely make edits to an individual proposal’s design without affecting other proposals or templates.

You never need to look at or worry about themes again.

A template and a theme are one, so once you generate a proposal it will just make a copy of the theme in the background and you can safely edit the proposal.

You don’t need to worry about unlocking cover elements. Just start editing.

So with that understood, let’s go into a bit more detail:

The template section now contains your saved templates (those you’ve imported) and the gallery, which is all the themes we have to offer that you can import and use.

When you find a template you like you can preview and import/save.

Looking at your saved templates, you’ll see one has a bookmark icon indicating it’s your default template. When you create a new section in the library it will automatically use your default template.

If you want to make another template your default, just click on the bookmark icon.

Now when you create a new proposal you’ll first be asked to choose a template.

You can still duplicate a past proposal by finding it in your pipeline or archives, clicking on it, and then pressing the “duplicate” button.

When creating a new proposal, you can either choose one of your saved customized templates or start with a new one from the gallery.

Then just fill in the basic settings and start editing like you normally would. Now when you click the “edit design” button you’ll see the standard design editor.

The difference is, changing these options will only ever affect the proposal you’re working on.

We are working on a way to let you swap to a different style without affecting your content, but in the meantime if you want to use a completely different template and keep all your content, you’ll need to create a new proposal from the template and drag in the saved sections from the library.

We hope this new way of doing things increases your productivity and simplifies things for everyone.

What’s next

Christmas and New Year is fast approaching. We’re working to get user roles and permissions finished before the end of the year, otherwise we’re working on bug fixes, polishing and, of course, helping out our customers.

As always, thank you for your interest and support!

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