How to pick the best invocation name for your Alexa skill

Amazon Alexa market Analysis

After releasing the skill Beyonce’s Assistant, we got feedback that before enabling the skill, Alexa would say “Hmm, I have a few skills that can help. Do you want to open Dungeon Assistant? Do you want Medical Assistant” in response to “Alexa, enable Beyonce’s assistant” (thanks to Amy over at Pulse Labs for noticing!). Apparently, Alexa was suggesting more commonly used skills that sounded similar to “Beyonce’s Assistant” (our invocation name).

The invocation name is the thing that users will say after “Alexa, open…”.

Discoverability is a huge issue in the voice community. There are many things you can do, both active and passive, that can help your audience find your skill. One of the easiest actions is to chose a relatively unique invocation name. Amazon has the following specific requirements for skill invocations, though the rigour with which they follow these rules is debatable.

We did an analysis of over 51 000 skills in the US store to uncover which are the most common invocation name. Here are some fun facts:

  • The most common invocation word is “the”
  • The second most common invocation word is “church” (here is why)
  • Invocations use a total of 15,697 different words
  • Most (8865) words are only used once
  • “My one church fact” would be the most generic Alexa skill invocation

You can search through all of the invocations using the skills database.

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