Application programming interfaces (APIs) give companies the ability to integrate and add functionality to their own applications, websites, software and SaaS platforms as developers have realised a lot of the functionality that is required can be more efficiently implemented using APIs. In terms of the eversign API, it allows developers to integrate and automate e-signatures with a lot of flexibility into their own company’s code, which can lead to massive efficiencies – things that used to takes hours can be accomplished in minutes once the eversign API has been set up.
Most businesses have already started the process of taking their entire document workflows online, however the eversign API allows you to take it one step further and either completely automate the workflow, or integrate it into your website or CRM. Essentially, the eversign API allows you to remove the human bottleneck that comes with creating and sending out documents for e-signature.
On that note, what are the most common use cases with the eversign API?
Integrating e-signatures into your website, customer portal or app
Using our “Embedded Signing” functionality, it is possible to integrate the eversign signing page into your website or customer portal through our iFrame, which can help automate a number of different workflows, while ensuring your clients don’t need to leave your website or app to complete the electronic signature process. Typical workflows include having to sign a legally binding document during the sign-up flow, where “embedded signing” significantly reduces friction and increases conversion rates. Another workflow could be in an integration into a real estate SaaS platform for example, where all agreements are managed and can be signed in-app.
While completing this integration might initially seem complicated, it is actually a relatively simple process which developers can do quickly and straightforwardly (I’ve worked with developers who have completed this integration in less than a day!). The high-level process of how this needs to be implemented is as follows. Firstly, the template of the document you’ll want signed needs to be set up in your eversign account – this is done by just uploading and dragging the relevant fields into the correct places. Once that has been completed, this template needs to be called for signature using the “Use_Template” API method with the “embedded_signing_enabled” parameter set to 1 in the request body (this method can be automatically called by a trigger such as, a “Next Step” button in your sign-up flow). This will return an “embedded_signing_URL”, which then needs to be shown through our iFrame which would be integrated into your website, customer portal or app.
Using your CRM to pre-populate and send contracts
Another use case that possible with the eversign API, is to integrate with your CRM so that contracts can be pre-populated and sent for signature. This integration is especially useful if you have long contracts with many fields to fill, either for your customer or staff. This allows for workflow efficiencies as the speed at which contracts are created and completed is increased. Furthermore, since the contract is pre-populated with customer data the likelihood of the customer signing the agreement improves as it is less hassle for them. Typical workflows that make use of this could be for contract extensions, as a trigger could start the process of pre-populating the contract extension and send it for signature to the customer. Another workflow could be initiated by the sales team, allowing purchase agreements to be pre-populated and sent for signature.
There’s essentially two different ways to make an integration like this work – it can be done by using an eversign template or an individual document with fields placed with X and Y co-ordinates. Using the “Create_Document” method, you are able to create and send a document for signature adding any field type required to the document. The base file that needs to be sent for signature can be uploaded either by providing a URL, a reference to an existing file ID or through a base64 string. The different “field” objects added can be pre-populated by dynamically filling the “value” parameter from your CRM.
Pulling Data from Fields in a Completed Document into a CRM
Pulling data from fields in a completed document and populating that data into your CRM allows you to consistently have a true view of your customer and their contract data. This ensures that your CRM is showing a true view of your customers and any contract data, which allows businesses to act quicker and with more accuracy. By using the API to automate this process, it not only ensures your CRM is updated immediately, but also removes the risk of human error and oversight. Typical workflows could involve populating data from a purchase agreement, such as contract expiry data, deal value, close date, etc. This would ensure that you would always be on top of contract renewals and improve customer retention.
To build this integration, you are able to use our webhooks to receive a trigger to call the “Get_Document/Template” API method. The callback contains the “document_hash” as metadata, which needs to be used in the “Get_Document/Template” method. When this method is called, it returns the whole document data set, which can then be imported into your CRM using their API by mapping the fields in eversign to the relevant fields in your CRM.
Saving Completed Documents Automatically to your Server or CRM
While all your completed documents are stored indefinitely in your eversign account and you always have access to them (even if you downgrade to a free account), documents can also be automatically saved onto another server or using the eversign API. Once they have been saved onto your server, it’s possible to upload the completed documents to a CRM, allowing increased visibility into customer activity.
Creating this type of integration can be done by using our webhooks to receive a “Document Completed” callback as a trigger which automatically uses the “document_hash” in the callback metadata with the “Download_Final_PDF” API method to download the completed document onto your server. To make mapping the documents to a customer or account in your CRM, it’s possible to pass metadata such as CRM Account ID together with the document when using either the “Create_Document” or “Use_Template” methods, which can then be used to map the individual documents to the correct CRM Account ID in the CRM.
It’s also worth mentioning a less technical workaround to save documents onto your server that doesn’t involve coding. Since my default both the signer and sender of a document gets an email PDF attachment of a completed document, it’s possible to use a service like Zapier, IFTTT or similar to set a trigger to download the attachment of the “Document Completed” email to a specified location.
Bulk sending documents for e-signature
Sending a large number of people individual documents for e-signature can an extremely time-consuming process if it isn’t automated. Using the eversign API, it’s possible to automate this process, and bulk send documents for e-signature. Typical workflows in which this is used can be if all employees in a large company need to sign an individual copy of the employee handbook. By sending the documents using the eversign API, it enables tracking of who has and hasn’t signed the documents and even being able to see who has viewed the document. Furthermore, it also enables automatic reminders to be sent if the document has been signed within a pre-determined number of days.
There’s a couple ways to bulk send documents using the eversign API, namely either by developing and coding a loop which iterates over each contact and calls either the “Create_Document” or “Use_Template” methods or by using our WebMerge integration. Using our WebMerge integration, you are able to automatically populate and bulk send documents for e-signature. You can find a comprehensive guide on how the WebMerge integration works and how to get it set up with eversign here: https://blog.eversign.com/webmerge-eversign-integration/
Please feel free to reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about the solutions that we can provide using the eversign API.