Alexa Reminders--Guidelines for Usage

Reminders are prearranged messages that Alexa speaks to the customer at a specific time.

If you want to use Alexa to create reminders for a customer who uses your skill, you must obtain their informed consent every time you create a reminder on their behalf. The wording of your request must accurately and completely represent the action that you will take on the customer's behalf, so that the customer will not be surprised by the outcome.

For more information about reminders, see Alexa Reminders Overview.

Reminder examples

Skill Category Example Request Example Confirmation Reminder Created
Business & Finance Alexa: Would you like me to remind you to check your account balance every Thursday at 8 AM? Alexa: Okay, I'll remind you every Thursday at 8 AM. Text: Check your account balance
Scheduled Time: 8 AM
Recurrence Rule: Every Thursday
Lifestyle Alexa: Would you like a reminder to meditate for 3 minutes every day at noon? Alexa: Okay, I'll remind you every day at noon. Text: Play a 3-minute meditation
Scheduled Time: 12 PM
Recurrence Rule: Every day
Local Alexa: Would you like me to remind you two hours before your dinner reservation? Alexa: Okay, I'll remind you Friday at 5 PM. Text: Dinner at Chez Alexa 7 PM
Scheduled Time: Friday at 5 PM
Games, Trivia & Accessories Alexa: Would you like a reminder to start your daily quiz every day at 7:30 PM? Alexa: Okay, I'll remind you every day at 7:30 PM. Text: Start your daily quiz
Scheduled Time: 7:30 PM
Recurrence Rule: Every day
Sports Alexa: Would you like a reminder to check your fantasy league team tomorrow at 6 PM? Alexa: Okay, I'll remind you tomorrow at 6 PM. Text: Check your fantasy league team
Scheduled Time: Tomorrow at 6 PM
Travel & Transportation Alexa: Would you like me to remind you to check the train status on weekdays at 7 AM? Alexa: Okay, I'll remind you every weekday at 7 AM. Text: Ask MyTransitSkill for the train status
Scheduled Time: 7 AM
Recurrence Rule: Every weekday

Reminder label guidelines

Guideline for reminder text Do Don't
Be concise and lead with the most critical information. Alexa announces lengthy reminders, but they may be visually truncated on small device screens, as approximately 25 characters appear per reminder on Echo Spot, including spaces. Alexa: "Here's your reminder from MyReservationSkill: Dinner at Chez Alexa 7 PM" Alexa: "Here's your reminder from MyReservationSkill: Dinner reservation at Chez Alexa at 15 Broadway Street for 4 people at 7 PM"
Be discreet. Alexa may display and announce reminders on shared devices where other people can see/hear them. Do not include personally identifiable or sensitive information in the reminder text. Examples of PII (personally identifiable information) include name, social security number, date and place of birth, and mother's maiden name. Sensitive information may include medical, educational, financial, and employment information. Alexa: "Here's your reminder from MyFinanceSkill: Pay credit card bill" Alexa: "Here's your reminder from MyFinanceSkill: Pay credit card bill for $2,415.89"
If you must refer to the user in the reminder text, use the second-person pronouns "you" and "your" rather than "me" and "my." Alexa: "This is a reminder from MySportsSkill: Check your fantasy league team." Alexa: "This is a reminder from MySportsSkill: Check my fantasy league team."
Do not include the skill name in the reminder text. Alexa: "Here's your reminder from MyTransitSkill: Check train status" Alexa: "Here's your reminder from MyTransitSkill: Ask MyTransitSkill to check train status."
Do not include unsolicited content in the reminder text, such as upselling, advertising, or other content unrelated to the reminder to which the user originally consented. Alexa: "Here's your reminder from MyLifestyleSkill: Play a 3-minute meditation" Alexa: "Here's your reminder from MyLifestyleSkill: Play a 3-minute meditation, and check out our new 15-minute option!"

Best practices for coding reminders in your skill

Follow these best practices.

  • When your skill attempts to create a reminder, but does not succeed, make sure that your skill service informs the customer that the reminder was not actually created.

  • If your skill attempts to modify or delete a reminder, but does not succeed, make sure that the customer is informed of the error.

  • When a reminder has expired, do not reuse this expired reminder by updating it, but instead create a new reminder. If appropriate, your skill can update a reminder before it is read.

  • If a customer has not granted reminders permission to your skill, the skill should gracefully inform the customer on how they can grant permissions and should send a home card providing a link to the skill permissions page.

  • When you submit your skill for certification, use the test instructions to describe how you have implemented reminders functionality in the skill. See Submission checklist.

Best practices for customer experience for setting reminders

Follow these guidelines when you use reminders in your skill. You want the customer to feel comfortable with reminders from Alexa, and to not disable your skill due to a bad customer experience.

Reminders should be relevant

Skills should only prompt the customer for permission to create or edit reminders in the context of offering to set a reminder. The customer is more likely to grant permission if there is immediate value, such as a reminder being set, and if the suggested reminder is relevant to the conversation they are currently having with Alexa.

Limit the frequency of asking for permission

You do not want your customers to feel inundated with offers to set reminders if they have previously declined permission, as they may choose to disble the skill. If a customer says "No," they should not receive another offer for at least 7 days.

Restate a reminder when set

If the customer grants permission, and the skill sets a reminder, make sure to restate the time and nature of the reminder so that the customer knows it has been set.