Alpaka SMS is not a bulk marketing messaging service. We do not like spam messages and we're sure you don't either! This is why we have designed the SMS tool as a reminder service to prevent no-shows to your appointments which can cause you losses in revenue. More than 90% of text messages are read within minutes of receiving them making it an essential tool for appointment reminders.

Sending a text message using Alpaka SMS is really simple, you will be set up in no time.

There are a few things you need to do first...

If you have had any difficulty getting set up, click here to find out how to contact support, our ticketing system is the most streamline way of getting your questions answered. We also have a support telephone line, click here to give us a call +44 (0) 203 286 6109. UK hours Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm.

Adding a credit/debit card to your account

You will need to add a card to your account. Alpaka does not handle credit card details. Payment processing is handled by 3rd party payment provider Stripe. For information on Stripe’s secure payment system see https://stripe.com/docs/security/stripe

Within the navigation > MORE menu > YOUR ACCOUNT > BILLING, add the card details you wish to use on your Alpaka account and verify with Stripe.

Purchasing your own Virtual Number

A Virtual Number is a mobile telephone number but without having to own a mobile phone handset.

Hover over SMS in the navigation and click ‘SETTINGS’. On the right of the screen you will need to search for a phone number to purchase. Select your country and click ‘Search’. You can also add in if the number contains certain digits, but bear in mind not all numbers you may wish for are available.

Once you have found a number you would like to purchase, click ‘+ Buy Now’. You have the ability to purchase multiple virtual numbers, for example if you have numerous businesses and want to send and receive messages from each of them keeping the telephone numbers apart for each business.

Select Your Subscription

You will need to select a monthly subscription.

Each of the subscriptions expire on the 5th of every month. If you initially purchase a subscription on the 20th April, you will only receive half of your monthly text credits which will expire on 5th May where the credit will be reset back to full amount of message credits on 5th June.

Select Your TopUp Pack

If you require extra messages, TopUp Packs can be purchased against your account. Message TopUp packs do not expire. Subscription messages are used before TopUp pack messages.

That’s it! You’re nearly ready to go!

Build your contact list

Firstly, you will need to add at least one contact recipient. In the navigation > CONTACTS, click on ‘+ Add Contact’.

Enter the contacts details including phone number and an email address (email reminder messages are free) then click Submit to save.

Ask your customers for their mobile telephone numbers. This could be done with a form on your social media pages or website when collecting customer information. If you own a shop, why not show off your new Alpaka SMS appointment reminder service to your customers.

But remember, you must ask your customers permission to opt-in to receive text message communications from yourself.

Sending your first SMS

In the navigation click > SMS > ‘+ Send SMS’.

Select a contact, a from number (if you have multiple virtual numbers), a send date & time and write your message. Click ‘Send’ to queue the message.

Make it Personal

People check their phones a lot of times a day, so why not make your message stand out with a personal greeting?

To personalise the message whilst writing a SMS, click on the ##{{-}} icon to reveal available variables that can be added to the text. Click on each variable to highlight, then copy and paste the variable into the message.

Templates

You may send the same message out a lot such as a manual last minute reminder. Hover over SMS in the navigation and select TEMPLATES then click ‘+ Add SMS Template’.

Give your template a name, click on the ##{{-}} icon to reveal the available variables and write your message e.g.

Hi ##{{to-first-name}} Your appointment is tomorrow. Any issues just reply to this message. See you tomorrow! ##{{from-first-name}}.

Templates can be attached to a Schedule Block so that when an event is added to the Schedule e.g. a haircut appointment, a text message can be sent at a time & date of your specified choosing.

To send a template manually, click on SMS in the navigation > ‘+ Send SMS’ and select the template from the ‘Template’ drop down. Specify a date and time to send then click Send.

Your Outbox

Your outbox is the place to view all sent and pending SMS messages. Hover over SMS in the navigation then click OUTBOX to view all of your messages. Use the filters to view and report the status of messages that have been in draft, held, sent, delivered or has issue.

The Inbox

The inbox is the place to view all incoming messages/replies to your automated SMS messages. See what messages are pending or have been actioned. Customers like the personal touch so it's good practice to have a 2 way conversations with your clients. Incoming messages are free of charge.

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If you have had any difficulty getting set up, Click here to give us a call +44 (0) 203 286 6109

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