Submittable Review: The Perfect Application Management Software or a Scam?

Submittable Review: The Perfect Application Management Software or a Scam?
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4.5 / 5
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  • Basic Plan: $84/mo

  • Custom Plan

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Submittable Review: In-Depth

This service is a management software that offers several innovative tools to assist individuals and businesses in facilitating their application and evaluation processes. Although it was primarily designed as a product for publishing companies and grant organizations, the site is useful to schools and corporations.

Top institutions use submittable across the globe like Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It also integrates with popular applications such as Google Sheets and Salesforce. However, it is common for users to know if the platform is actually worth the hype or simply fake. This review looks at important details about the service and answers the most vital questions about it.

Key Features

In accord with its core focus, the software provides subscribers with advanced administrative tools. This is to allow them to get the best results out of their application and reviewing procedures.

Some of its main technologies are:

Submittable Review: Background Information

Submittable About us
The site was founded in 2010 by Michael FitzGerald. Initially, it started as a tool to keep track of manuscript submissions for literary magazines. However, Submittable has witnessed significant growth over the decade, with over 10,000 clients in 63+ countries worldwide.

Alongside its expansion in customer-base, the platform has also advanced in technologies offered to its members. It is employed by top institutions such as Harvard, Airbnb, and TechCrunch. The company has a current workforce of 51 to 200 employees and remains a private organization.

Service Features

Submittable has a variety of products that streamline and ease out the tracking, collection, and arrangement of electronic submissions. These technologies make it suitable for different types of individuals, organizations, and non-profits. This review details its major service offerings below:

Grant Coordination

Submittable Grant Coordination
The service allows grantmakers to save time and optimize their processes. They can collect grant applications, automate their workflows, organize reviews, and disclose reports faster.

Accreditation Handling

Organizations also have access to features that help streamline the compilation, assessment, and approval of accreditation materials. This way, they can make their work more efficient.

Scholarship Administration

Like its other main features, the site offers foundations, non-profits, and different types of organizations innovative tools to easily collect, grade, and report on scholarship applications.

Conference Administration

Organizing successful conference programs relies on several factors. These could be quality audio and video delivery and screen presentations.

Contest Planning

Submittable allows individuals and organizations to easily launch and manage competitions. It provides modern and user-friendly technologies that boost brand identity, expand their reach, and tighten security.

Event Development

Users can access resources that simplify the process of receiving and assessing specific submission details for events. Irrespective of the size or type, the service provides technologies that make organizers’ works easier.

Festival Planning

Submittable also offers technologies that aim to provide the best results for festivals. It offers its members access to tools that help them recruit and monitor the best hands for their fairs. These could be artists, speakers, etc.

Publishing and Subscriptions

The site allows subscribers to optimize workflows for all kinds of publications. This way, they can get different types of content to wider audiences faster.

Features in Detail

The website has many tools to assist subscribers in getting desired results. The technologies cut across different uses such as grants, scholarships, festivals, and publishing management. They form the core of the site’s value offering and are explained in detail below.

Customizable Online Forms

Submittable Customizable Online Forms
Submittable allows subscribers to easily build unique online forms for receiving different types of submissions.

To set one up, a user will:

  1. Open their account on the site
  2. Navigate to the top bar and click on Forms
  3. Create a new one and give it a name
  4. Customize through the drag and drop feature
  5. Add submission fee box if desired

Branded Portals

Submittable Branded Portals
It is common for individuals and organizations to want to showcase their identity through their channels. Therefore, the website gives its members the privilege through its branded portals feature. Users can create gateways that possess the characteristics of their organizations through layouts, colors, images and more.

Form Logic

Submittable Form Logic
Sometimes, organizers prefer to have different application channels based on applicant responses. The company makes it possible through the logic tool that allows the integration of branches into forms.

File Uploads

Submissions files come in different formats, and this often poses a problem for coordinators. However, Submittable provides members with technologies that allow them to collect, view, and assess over 50 different types of files. These could be images, audios, videos, and even documents.

Collaborative Submission

Group assignments are common tools to review candidates. However, monitoring these assignments efficiently typically involves a lot of hassles. The software aims to get rid of this problem by offering access to real-time collaboration for team applicants and managers.

Workflow Automation

Organizing and appraising of submissions can be difficult. However, they do not have to bother about unnecessary delays with the site’s workflow automation products.

Bulk Messaging

Often, subscribers face the problem of continually recreating emails to contact reviewers and submitters. However, the service’s bulk messaging feature puts an end to this. It allows coordinators to set up templates and send out messages en masse. This way, they can save time and effort.

Automatic and Manual Team Assignments

Organizers can easily choose how to manage submissions to their programs. The site’s automation tools can group and send applications to select reviewers based on preset criteria. Alternatively, they can handle the entire process manually.

Reference Forms

In some cases, individuals and organizations have partners they work with in planning their events. They may decide to set up distinct portals for easy identification of submissions made through these partners. Hence, this product allows users to create and integrate different third-party forms.

Additional Forms

Applicants play different roles in events apart from the submission of necessary files alone. They may be required to provide other deliverables, register for new programs, etc. Hence, there’s usually a need for new entries. Additional forms provide pathways to input extra details and files needed from them.

Auto Labels

This product works to optimize the categorization process of submissions. Users can easily group entries as they come in. This way, coordinators can quickly search, identify, and reference all received files.

Anonymous Submission

Some events require the identity of all or some entrants to be unknown. This technology allows the anonymity of entries to be maintained across all portals. Details such as senders’ names, email addresses, locations, and so on can all be masked for preferred reasons.

Advanced Reporting

Applications typically involve different types of data that may be hard to arrange and analyze. However, with the platform’s advanced reporting products, subscribers can easily make sense of their data through grouping, charts, and other innovative tools. Also, the site offers members an all-in-one dashboard that makes this information easy to read.

API Access

Submittable also allows subscribers to connect their products to their applications seamlessly. However, the activities involved in setting up its API Access vary depending on the type of system in use. Publishers with popular CMS like WordPress can simply create and put out content through the management software. Others may require a more complex set up.


Users can  integrate and use the software on different forms of third-party applications. This way, organizers can share data, as well as technologies across different platforms.

Some of the popular apps which the site integrates with are:

Submittable Plans & Pricing

Submittable caters to organizations with different forms of needs and resources. These could be top academic institutions like Harvard, businesses, and even non-profit organizations. Therefore, the platform offers varying plans that will be able to suit the diverse capabilities of its members. These packages are titled Basic Plan and Custom Plan, and they are discussed in more detail below.

Basic Plan

The basic plan can be described as the site’s budget-friendly package. It was essentially created for members who have limited resources and can do well with limited technologies. It offers access to three team seats, 300 submissions per year, and one live project to receive information and uploads.

Cost-wise, the plan is priced at $84 per month, and subscribers can choose to be charged monthly or annually. Also, it comes with a demo and a 14-day trial window. So, users who are not satisfied with its provisions can terminate their contract before they are automatically charged.



  • Package is affordable
  • Access to basic management tools
  • Allows integration with third-party websites
  • Offers payment processing function


  • No dedicated account manager
  • Subscribers can’t receive video uploads

Custom Plan

On the other end, members can opt for the Custom Plan, the website’s package for enterprises. Here, there is access to its full list of products and other support tools that drive a seamless experience. However, unlike the Basic Plan, this package does not come with a fixed price.

This is because users have additional resources alongside Submittable’s normal features. They can select advanced tools that cater to their specific needs. Also, they get access to a non-fixed number of submissions, live projects, and team seats. Lastly, the plan is charged in bulk, which is annual.



  • Unlimited number of form fields
  • All types of file formats can be collected
  • Offers fund tracking and fraud protection
  • Members get a dedicated account success manager


  • Can be costly with a higher number of tools
  • Doesn’t allow monthly subscription payment

Price & Key Features Comparison Table

The site’s plans vary in prices of subscription and technologies provided to members. Therefore, it is essential for users to have a full grasp of the offerings to pick the package that suits their needs best.

There’s a demo option to allow people to get familiar before making a purchase. However, this review provides more details with a comprehensive table of Submittable’s plans, prices, and main services.

Basic Custom
Price $89/mo By Quote
Team Seats 3 Unlimited
Submission Volume 300/year Custom
Projects 1 Custom
Form Fields Unlimited Unlimited
File Upload No video All types
Form Logic & Customization No Yes
Payment Processing Yes Yes
Multi-stage Review No Yes
Batch Emails and Email Templates Yes Yes
Advanced Reporting Tools No Yes
Funds Tracking No Yes
Support Basic Priority
Integration Yes Yes
GDPR Compliance Yes Yes
Single-Sign On No Yes

Terms and Conditions

Organizations are the main subscribers on the platform. So, they are expected to provide accurate information during registration. Also, they are to avoid the transfer of privileges, among other things. Refusal to follow these agreements will lead to the termination of existing contracts.

On the other hand, submitters have the responsibility of avoiding fraudulent behaviors like the use of bots for submissions or multiple email addresses. The site can choose to limit and end the activities of applicants, which it finds to be wrong or illegal.

Privacy Policy

Data such as contact and billing information, logins, location, and user activity are collected by the management software to deliver services efficiently. Submittable also discloses that it does not sell personal information of its members and submitters to third parties. However, in a case that requires legal authorities, the site might disclose user data due to court order.

Refund Policy

The platform requires all subscribers to report all payment disputes to support representatives within 30 days, of which the money was paid. They are also expected to attach all necessary details to substantiate the claim. However, all reports that do not come within the allowed window do not qualify for a refund. Submitters, on the other hand, are expected to contact organizers to resolve disputes. Once the organizers approve a refund, the money will be released.

Customer Support

Submittable offers support through varying channels for different categories of users. They are visitors, submission owners, and applicants. Further details on the help channels offered are given below.


People or institutions who are just starting out on the platform and existing subscribers can contact the site over the phone. The mobile number is (855) 467-8264, and the line is open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. MT.


Every person that wishes to contact Submittable can utilize the service’s email channel: [email protected]. Also, the platform uses its email support seamless by providing it as a portal that visitors can access easily on its website.

Live Chat

The provision of customer support through instant messaging is increasingly becoming common among businesses. This isn’t surprising as it ensures quick resolving of customer issues when possible. That’s why the management software provides its subscribers with a live chat option to relay their queries and requests. The channel is available from 7 a.m. –  5 p.m. MT.

Support Center

Visitors and existing members who wish to learn about the site’s offerings or other information on preferred topics can use its support center. It contains several articles on how the software works. All a person needs is a simple search in the search bar, and related pieces will be retrieved if available.

Quality of Service

Submittable has several advanced tools to assist organizers in arranging events and collecting submissions. Over the years, the technologies have generated a client base that amounts to tens of thousand and is spread across the globe. More, it appears that users are majorly satisfied with offerings as they averagely rated the site 4.8/5 stars.

One of the reviewers mentioned that the software delivered on all the necessary features that were required as a submitter and editor. Users advised that every publication should take advantage of the platform. However, some subscribers were unimpressed as well. Some commenters wrote that it lacks essential functionality.

Customer Types

At one point, all growing institutions will come across an event that requires a collection of applications. For individuals, the scenario is less common, but it is likely to happen. So, the website can be utilized by various categories of people and enterprises. Some of them are:

Small Business

Startups can benefit from Submittable’s different list of technologies. These could be collating and grouping recruitment entries, customer requests, etc. Also, the website provides a Basic plan which makes essential tools for small businesses at limited prices.

Large Enterprises

As a business advances and expands, so does its intake of different data. And, if this is not properly handled, it can lead to a myriad of problems. The platform allows large institutions to optimize their collation and assessment processes for better performance. These could be profit-companies, NGOs, grant & scholarship providers, and so on.

Medium Business

Enterprises at the middle stage of development can also take advantage of Submittable’s offerings to streamline their processes and, if possible, speed up their growth. They can use the service’s tools to optimize workflows, thereby allowing a refocus of resources to more important departments, among other things.


Gig workers can also use the site’s services to arrange their entries whenever they have an influx. These could be project offerings, recruitments, and so on. This way, they can efficiently improve their service delivery.

Submittable Pros & Cons

Submittable has a variety of functions to aid members. They have proven to be very useful over time, as a significant percentage of subscribers rated it high in past reviews. However, there are drawbacks to its services as well.

Here are some of Submittable’s perks and limitations.



  • The website is easy to navigate and user-friendly
  • The software offers simple integration with third-party apps
  • Members have access to good customer support
  • The site acts as an all-in-one tool for supervision
  • There are multiple features to cater to different types of needs
  • There is an affordable base plan for small organizations
  • Text windows on forms are small and hard to use
  • Delays in relaying requests and queries to support representatives

Service Alternatives

The company has close to a decade of experience of service to customers. Since its establishment in 2010, it has provided several innovative tools and expanded its reach accordingly. However, there are other apps that have been in the race as well. This review looks at some of its popular alternatives below.


OpenWater Main
This cloud-based awards software functions by providing people and institutions with tools to automate and grow their award and recognition programs. Its services are excellent for coordinators of events like scholarships, grants, awards, and abstracts — basically, any program whose review process is competitive.


AwardSpring Main

AwardSpring Main
Founded in 2012, AwardSpring serves as an advanced scholarship coordinating tool for grant providers. It offers members access to technologies that streamline scholarship application procedures. So, they save time, lower errors, and identify the most qualified candidates.


WizeHive Main
This app prides itself on providing solutions that can cater to the entire routines undertaken by grant providers. These include activities that range from setting up portals to the collection of entries and assessments. WizeHive integrates with over 2000 applications worldwide and remains fast-growing.


SmartSimple Main
This software offers a flexible platform for grant providers to collate, arrange, and review their applications. It serves different types of organizations and provides several advanced tools for users to monitor and review submissions.

SurveyMonkey Apply

SurveyMonkey Apply Main
Formerly known as FluidReview, SurveyMonkey Apply provides top-grade management solutions for grants. Alongside its several technologies, the platform also offers users additional tools that help them draw insights through reports and so on. SurveyMonkey Apply is a subsidiary of leading cloud-based software-as-a-service company, SVMK Inc.

Submittable OpenWater AwardSpring WizeHive SmartSimple SurveyMonkey
Base Price $89/mo $4900/yr $99/mo By Quote $75/mo $7000/yr
Applicant Management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Collaboration Yes No No Yes No No
Workflow Management Yes No No Yes No No
Surveys & Feedback Yes Yes No No No No
Fraud Detection Yes Yes No No No No
Conferences Yes Yes No No No No
Tracking Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Catalogs Yes No No No No No
Content Management Yes No No No No No
Analytics Yes Yes No No No No
Scoring Yes Yes Yes No No Yes

FAQ Section

  • Is Submittable Legit?

    This software is reliable, secure, and integrates with several popular applications like Google Sheets and Salesforce. It also offers the refund option within a provided window to users who are unsatisfied with its services. Hence, it can be said to be legit.

  • Is Submittable Safe?

    Different factors determine the degree of safety of an app. Some of the most common factors include confidentiality of subscriber information, protection of access, and fraud prevention. It ranks well on all three measures according to past reviews. So, it can be classified as safe.

  • What Is a Universal Submission on Submittable?

    The universal submission is a feature that allows subscribers to manage their applications on other platforms through their Submittable account. This way, they can stay on top of all entries in one organized location.

The Final Word

Most popular reviews reveal that Submittable’s services surpass average ratings. Of course, this isn’t much of a surprise as the management software has existed for close to ten years. This space of time has rolled out many technologies and products to support members and is still doing so.

Published: June 07, 2021Updated: March 27, 2024

Megan Green

Megan Green

Megan is a writer who works at the junctures of science and stories. Previously, she has been the editor of a fashion magazine, an educator, mom, and a baker. She is keen on working with brands and lifestyle products, and outdoor tasks. Megan is outgoing, optimistic and has a great personality. She delivers top-notch content with a unique view on usual things.


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