Sitecore 8 EXM Get the email recipient from a Sublayout

The Sitecore 8 Email Experience Manager (EXM) is not only about sending bulk emails. It can be used to send one-time messages like “Thank you for signing up” or “forgot your password?” directly from code.

In the previous versions of EXM, back when it was called ECM, the sublayouts of an email could get the email address of the recipient directly from the querystring parameter “ec_recipient“. But with the introduction of the xDB and the Contacts, things have complicated.

This method will return the username (not the email address) of the recipient of the email:

using System;
using System.Text;
using System.Web;
using Sitecore;
using Sitecore.Data;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign;
using Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Core;
using Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Factories;
using Factory = Sitecore.Configuration.Factory;

namespace MyEXMService
  public class RecipientService
    public string GetRecipientName(HttpRequest request)
      string contactIdValue = request.QueryString[GlobalSettings.AnalyticsContactIdQueryKey];
      string itemId = Context.Request.QueryString["sc_itemid"];
      Item messageItem = Factory.GetDatabase("master").GetItem(ShortID.Parse(itemId).ToID()).Parent;
      Guid messageIdGuid = messageItem.ID.Guid;
      Guid contactId;
      using (GuidCryptoServiceProvider provider = new GuidCryptoServiceProvider(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(GlobalSettings.PrivateKey), messageIdGuid.ToByteArray()))
        contactId = provider.Decrypt(new Guid(contactIdValue));
      string contactName = EcmFactory.GetDefaultFactory().Gateways.AnalyticsGateway.GetContactIdentifier(contactId);
      return contactName;

With the username in hand, you can either look up the user in the Contacts xDB database, or in the .NET membership database:

RecipientService receipientService = new RecipientService();
string userName = receipientService.GetRecipientName(Request); 
MembershipUser user = Membership.GetUser(userName);


About briancaos

Developer at Pentia A/S since 2003. Have developed Web Applications using Sitecore Since Sitecore 4.1.
This entry was posted in c#, Sitecore 8 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sitecore 8 EXM Get the email recipient from a Sublayout

  1. Dave says:

    Hi Brian, We are trying to implement the example in the article above in our Sitecore 8 environment. We do not have a querystring parameter of “sc_item_id.” We’ve tried substituting the two parameters we have, “ec_message_id” and “_id” within the GetRecipientName function and it is still returning an empty string for the recipient name. We checked Mongo and not surprisingly the contactId doesn’t match the LUUID of our test contact. Any suggestions?

  2. Greg says:

    Dave did you manage to resolve this? I’m coming up against a similar problem.

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