Managing contracts and document signatures (in a way that courts will approve) remains a huge administrative challenge for small businesses. In March, I wrote about Adobe EchoSign as one option for handling electronic signatures. Another company you should consider is RPost, which describes itself as the "inventor of registered email services.
RPost's value proposition is pretty extensive, but simple. The company enables small businesses to send documents that can be "signed" in a variety ways of electronically, encrypted and sent around to the people who need to touch it. (RPost supports cryptographic digital signatures and handwritten e-signatures, among other options.) RPost also offers another twist: it can also add a digital return receipt if you want proof of when someone opened your email, said Zafar Khan, RPost CEO.
In fact, I was interested to discover that in early June, RPost was granted a patent covering its method of covering the tracking of email openings through embedded links. "RPost is set to license its patented technology to tens of thousands of email marketers, social media companies and cloud-based businesses, and vigorously pursue infringement proceedings against those that don't comply," the company said in a statement.
In fact, if you use services from Docusign, Adobe Echosign or RightSignature, you should probably be aware of the fact that RPost suing all three of those companies (plus a few others) over patent infringement in California, Texas and Virginia. A next round of cases is scheduled to go to jury trial in Texas in August 2013.
RPost can interface with a range of email systems including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook and Hotmail. In order to trigger a registration, you need to send the email from RPost's interface, but the responses will go to the original account. RPost has created mobile applications for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.
If you're just into covering yourself with receipts on emails, you can send up to 10 messages per user for free per month. Beyond that, Khan said the services start at $6.99 per user per month for up to 25 users; and start at $14.99 for up to 100 messages per user per month.