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Tips for a Successful Alexa Skill Certification: Example Phrases and Launch Requests

Example phrases for Alexa skills are important because they give users information about how to interact with a skill. They can be found and updated on the “Distribution” tab under “Skill Preview” for your skill. When creating these example phrases, you want to ensure that you structure them in a way that is valid, which means including an appropriate launch request.

A simple example phrase can be broken down into different components, which include the following:

[Wake Word], [Launch Word] [Invocation Name] [Connecting Word] [Utterance]

  • Wake word: This is “Alexa” by default on Alexa devices, but can be adjusted by customers based on their preferences. Feel free to use “Alexa” as the wake word in your example phrases.
  • Launch word: This includes a number of starting phrases like "open," "ask," "start," "launch," "begin," "talk to," "run," “load,” and more.
  • Invocation name: This is the name you have chosen to invoke your skill. For more information, read through our documentation on invocation name requirements.
  • Connecting word: These are words which connect the launch word to utterances and include "and," "to," "for,” “when,” and more. While this component can be omitted, including it would be more natural for customers to understand.
  • Utterance: These are required and should be modeled based on the sample utterances within your interaction model.

Before submitting your skill for certification, double check that your launch word and connecting word for each example phrase are supported.

Good Example:

Alexa, ask space facts to give me a fact.

In this instance, “ask” is the launch word and “to” is the connecting word. Because these are supported, the user will be routed correctly to the appropriate skill if they have it enabled.

Bad Example:

Alexa, update me with a space fact.

This case uses a word (“update”) that is not considered a launch word. Thus, the user wouldn’t be connected to the skill properly.

For a complete list of supported launch and connecting words, check out our documentation: Understand How Users Invoke Custom Skills.

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beth@amazon contributed to this article