This article describes how to send a contract for signature automatically. It contains the following topics:
- Video tutorial
- Creating a new automation
- Setting up the automation trigger
- Setting up the automation action
- Auto-signing the contract before sending it
- Using the automation workflow
- Testing your automation
- Checking the steps of a successful automation
With the help of our automation builder, you can now automatically send a contract for signature when a new draft from a specific template is created (as an example we will give you within the article, but you can use other trigger events such as "Contract draft is updated" as well).
Here is a short video tutorial of the automation setup, and a step-by-step guide follows right after:
- Click on Automations tab from the main menu and then on the blue button Create new at the upper right-hand corner.
- You will be redirected to a pop-up window where you can customize the automation's setup.
How can I configure the trigger event?
To begin with, select the Draft is created trigger from the drop-down menu. This will automatically open a configuration window to the right in which you can define which contract draft should start the automation.
You can assign the trigger to every draft in Contractbook that you create in general or only a draft created from a specific template. For our automation flow, we will use Every draft from a specific template:
If you have selected the second option as we did, you can then use the search bar to find the template you want to use as a base for the automation trigger event. If you have several templates sharing the same name, you can click on the small eye icon and the document will directly open for your review:
After choosing the correct template, confirm by clicking on Save and the next step in the automation setup will be displayed.
How can I configure the action event?
This step covers the action that the automation trigger you have just defined will automate. You can use the search bar to locate the option Send for signature:
This means that each time a new "Employment contract (fixed payment)" draft is created, a contract will be automatically generated and sent for signatures to the relevant parties.
Can I auto-sign the contract before sending it?
In the new configuration window which will appear on the right side of the screen, you can customize the signature process for the selected document which will be sent as a result of the automation.
Firstly, the Document ID will be fetched from the draft and automatically populated in the respective field:
You will be allowed to select the following options:
- Auto-signing the contract on your behalf before sending it for signature (if you are defined as a Signee)
- Using the company as the email signature notification sender (white-labeling)
Note: It is important to keep in mind that the auto-sign feature before sending only works when you are the first Signee in the contract. In case you are not a Signee (you have chosen "Only others" under Who will sign the contract section), or if you are not the first one in the signing order defined for the contract, then the automation will fail with a relevant message indicating the occurred error.
In addition to the above, if the signing order in the draft which will trigger the automation is set to Random (Should signees sign in a specific order? toggle is off):
In these cases, the auto-signing feature will work seamlessly with the only requirement that you are present on the list of signees on the contract draft. However, you do not necessarily need to be the first one in the defined sequence.
How can I start using my new automation flow?
Once you have completed this automation configuration, click on Save to confirm the setup and then Publish in the upper right-hand corner to set it into active use.
Note: You can always rename the automation and each of its steps as you find fit by clicking on the small pen icon next to the generic titles.
In the example we are working with, we will rename the automation to "Send employment contract for signature":
You can control the status of the automation from the Status toggle bar. This way you can always turn it off if you need to pause the automation workflow for some time:
If you click on the three grey dots next to the status toggle bar, you will be able to open, rename, delete, duplicate or see the activity feed of the automation:
If you choose the Activity option from the list, the activity sidebar will allow you to see all the details of each time the automation was used and the steps which were taken before it was triggered. Just click on the small arrow next to the date and time to expand the details. You can also click on the new contract from this view - this will automatically open it for review:
In addition, you will always be notified in-app from the small bell icon at the top navigation bar, as soon as any of your automation flows has been executed:
Note: You can adjust the email and in-app notifications under Profile Settings for your account.
How can I test Contractbook send for signature automation?
For the test to be performed, you only need to create a new draft from the template you used in the first step of the automation setup. You can do that directly from your Templates overview as shown in the video above.
As soon as the new draft is created, you can then go back to your documents overview and check the notifications under your account. The status of the automation will be listed there as either successful or failed.
What should I do if the automation has failed?
- If a "Send for signature" automation fails, firstly make sure that all required data fields in the document content are filled out.
- If any required data field is left blank, the automation will not run successfully.
In case the automation failed for a different reason, you can access the detailed view by clicking on the failed notification in the list under your profile notifications:
- In this view, you can identify the reason for the failure by expanding the failure to run details. You can then use the information found here to change the automation back from the configuration settings.
- In the case above, we need to go back and change the template used for the automation trigger event. The email address of the second Party is missing and since each party and their signature are identified by email address, this field can not be left blank.
- This is the reason why exactly the "Send for signature" step of the workflow failed. After we add a second Party to the template, which will determine who will receive the contract created as a result of the automation flow, everything will run smoothly.
How can I check the automation runs successfully?
- Once the automation has run successfully, you can now find the new contract and open it for review.
- Click on the contract's name from the Activity feed to open and review its details.
- You can also find it directly under the Pending tab of your Documents:
- The contract will be created with the exact same properties as you have configured in the Automation Builder. If you chose the option of automatically signing the contract on your behalf and you are one of the Parties at the template used to create it, this will be automatically completed as well.
- Now that you have tested the automation workflow, you are ready to start using it to save time, reduce errors and scale your business by automatically sending contracts to the relevant parties.
Note: Automated workflows and integrations are available for the users on any of our paid subscriptions.
If you still need additional information or assistance, reach out to us at any time via our Online Support Chat or by sending us an email.