Manage your Sitecore EXM Templates Using Custom Icons and Thumbnails

If you followed my instructions on how to build an email template in EXM 3.4, you may notice that both the icon and thumbnail are pretty lame in appearance. Sure you can change them to other default icons or thumbnails, but why not make things easier on yourself AND your marketers by customizing the icons in Sitecore and the thumbnails in EXM?

Adding custom icons to Sitecore 8.2

Prerequisites: Create the icon image you want in the following sizes: 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48, 128x128, saved as a transparent png.  Place the images in a folder that describes their size: 16x16, 24x24, etc., then place them in another folder, in this case let’s call it CustomIcons. Zip the entire folder structure. Your zip file should be structured like the screenshot below.

  1. Login to Sitecore.
  2. In a new browser tab, open
  3. Navigate to sitecore > shell > Themes > Standard.
  4. Click Upload.
  5. Click Choose File.
  6. Select the zip file you created in the prerequisites step above.
  7. Click Open.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Click Upload.
  10. Click Close.
  11. Close the File Explorer browser.
  12. Open Sitecore’s Content Editor.
  13. Navigate to the item for which you want to change the icon.
  14. Select the Configure tab.
  15. Click Icon.
  16. Select More Icons.
  17. Type the file path into the Icon field, in the case of this example CustomIcons/128x128/logo.png.
  18. Click OK.

The content tree will refresh and you will see your custom icon appear on your selected item.

Note: Sitecore uses the different size icons for different purposes. For instance, we selected the 128x128 version for the Sitecore CMS icon; however, Sitecore automatically grabs the 16x16 version. It is, in my opinion, better to select the 128x128 version when customizing icons, as in some instances, the image will be scaled and may not look good. For instance, if you selected the 16x16 version of the icon and you did not select a thumbnail image (talked about in the next section), the 16x16 image would be used as a 60x60 thumbnail… which looks terrible.

Adding custom thumbnails in Sitecore EXM 3.4

If you created a new EXM template from scratch and if you entered a custom 128x128 icon above, you can stop there, as the blank Thumbnail field will then reference the Icon field and scale the image to 60x60.

If you create your EXM template via copying an existing template (like I talked about in my previous blog post) OR if you want to have custom icons for the backend and custom thumbnails for the front – read on!

Prerequisites: Create a 128x128 pixel png with the thumbnail image you want to use.

  1. Open Content Editor.
  2. Select the Media Library tab from the bottom left hand corner.
  3. Navigate to Media Library > Email Campaign > Thumbnails.
  4. Click Upload files.
  5. Select the 128x128 png that you want to use.
  6. Click Open.
  7. Select the Content Editor tab from the bottom left hand corner.
  8. Navigate to Templates > Branches > Email Campaign > Messages and select the email template for which you want to change the default thumbnail.
    Note: In this case, I am navigating a level deeper into Custom Templates (a folder I created) and selecting the Mike Goracke – Newsletter email template.
  9. Select the View tab.
  10. Check the Standard fields check box.
  11. Click Clear under the Thumbnail field, in the Appearance section.
  12. Click Browse under the Thumbnail field, in the Appearance section.
  13. Find your thumbnail image using the Recently uploaded images function or using the search.
  14. Select your thumbnail image.
  15. Click Select.
  16. Click Save.

The next time you go to create an email campaign, you will see your custom thumbnail appear instead of the generic thumbnail.



About the author

I am a Digital Marketing Strategist. This blog does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. It is solely my opinion.

Also, I'm a digital strategist, not a developer - so when you see code on here, do not assume that it follows any best practices, because I'm simply trying to create actionable, measurable, marketing strategies as quickly as possible so that I can test and pivot accordingly.

comments powered by Disqus