As an Alexa Skill Developer, you have to be aware of how to pick Alexa-Supported Launch Phrases, also known as Invocation Names.

It's not too complicated, and I'm still learning as I go, so I just wanted to share one specific thing with you.

Amazon Alexa allows Alexa Skill Developers to pick three basic invocation names that essentially launch their Alexa Skills.

These start with the word(s), "open," "launch," "load," and even "begin."

If you use one of these words with the name of your Alexa Skill, it's going to work and you'll pass the Alexa Skill Submission process, as seen in my video.

But when you want to include an Intent in your invocation, things change a bit. An Intent, or Intent Block if using a third party tool like Voiceflow to build your Alexa Skill, essentially skips ahead of a skill's opening message to a point where the skill does something specific for the user.

For example, in one of our Custom Alexa Skills called Ask Data Driven Design, you can say "Alexa, open Data Driven Design" and the Skill will open and start giving you prompts for how to get information from it.

This invocation is a basic one. But, we've also added Invocations with Intents paired with Connecting Words. These examples include:

“Alexa, ask Data Driven Design how my web traffic looks”

“Alexa, ask Data Driven Design what my bounce rate is”

“Alexa, ask Data Driven Design where most of my web traffic is coming from”

“Alexa, ask Data Driven Design what are my top viewed pages”

These intents skip the opening, and just start reading you what you asked for.

More on these can be read here in the Alexa Developer Console documentation, or on this blog about tips for creating certifiable phrases for your Alexa Skill.

This video walks you through how to avoid putting intents with connecting words in your opening invocations, in the event that your Alexa Skill isn't properly coded with intent blocks.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!


Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via Podcasting, building Alexa Skills, SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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