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How do I send a video through email?

There are four basic methods to send a video through email

  1.  Send a video as an attached file.  (For very small videos only.)

  2. Upload and send a link.  (Probably the most reliable method, and it is fairly easy.)

  3. Send a link to a 'hosted' video

  4. Can you earn money by sending videos?

The attachment method sends the video as a file attached to a regular text email.  It is recommended only for very short videos, typically 2 or 3 megabytes or shorter.   The recipient will have to wait for the entire video to download before attempting to watch it; this might require a wait of more than an hour.

The upload method is the most reliable, and the easiest, for large videos.  The upload method is best for pre-recorded video, especially very large videos, up to 4,000 megabyte (an entire DVD in high definition). 

The link to a hosted video method is quite simple, though if you are fairly new to computers it might take a little practice to get it right.  Overall it is a very reliable way to send a video and you do not  have to be concerned about filling up the recipients inbox.  However if the site that hosts the video has a lot of advertising it may take some patience to get through to it.

Before you send your video, consider its size!

Does your video really need to be high-def?  Will the recipient be able to view it 1920x1080p ?   Most 'high def' video on the internet is only 720x560.  If you reduce your video to the realistic 'high def' of 720p then the size of the file you need to email will be only 1/4 as big, meaning it will be downloadable 4 times faster.

For a frame of reference, consider that the first digital televisions were 'only' 640x480. 

Learn more about converting video. You can change format from .wmv (windows) to .mov (apple) to .flv (flash video)

1.  Procedure to send a video email as an attachment:

The first step to send a video email as an attachment is to start your video capture program and record videos with your webcam.  Then you save the file on your hard drive.  Be sure to give it a meaningful name and make note of where you saved the file in the next step.  Next, start your email program and create a new text message.  Then click on the button to "attach file", and when prompted, find the file you saved, click on it and follow the instructions to attach the file.  Then your ISP (internet service provider) will send the email with the attachment to the addressee.   Any decent quality video of a minute will be approximately 6 million bytes.  Unless the recipient has that much empty space in his inbox, the video email will be rejected.  You will be notified that it was refused, and then you can try to send it again.
   Once the addressee recieves your email, they will see that it has an attachment.  They can then click on the attachment and wait for it to download to their hard drive.  Now that they have received the entire file they can view the video, using any popular viewing program, such as Windows Media Player.   After you hear back from your addressee that they have successfully seen the video that you sent, you need to go back and delete this video file from your hard disk.  If you do not do this, you will soon find that your hard drive is overfilled with old, out-of-date, un-needed video files.  Be sure to remind the addressee to periodically peruse their hard drive and erase all of the video files that the do not wish to keep saving.

Often, you can save a great deal of time and make your video much smaller. Many digital photography cameras that also record video, record it in a format called "AVI".  AVI is a very simple way of recording video.  It is high quality, it does not require super-fast processors, but it does take up a lot of space.  When you save your video from your camera to your computer, look at the name of the video; does it end with  .AVI ?  If so, then you can use Microsoft MovieMaker(r) to make it smaller.  Since the early days of Windows XP(r) computers have been shipped with this program. It might not be 'on your desktop', but it is probably already installed in your computer.  Run Moviemaker(r) and then use the 'import video' function to edit the movie you shot with your camera.  Then click 'save as', choose a new name, and choose one of the formats suggested.  For most video you want to email, try 256k first and see how you like that format. 

Learn how to convert videos to other formats here at converting videos.

Notes on sending video as an attachment:

  • you must know what internet access speed the recipient has
  • you must know the limit on the size of the recipient's mailbox
  • you need to know whether the recipient prefers to use flash, quicktime or media player
  • you must regularly delete old email videos from your hard disk
  • after sending, you must ask the recipient if they received your video
  • if the video will be more than 40 seconds long, you must find a server to host your video
  • the recipient can copy and save your video and then send it on as if it was his work

2.  Upload Your Video

Uploading your video is simple, and this article will show you how  :-) 

There is a free way to to it and a modest fee way to do it.

First, we will show you how to do it for FREE! 

You may have heard of "storage in the cloud" - well that's newly invented marketing-speak for services that have existed since 1992.

The best example is a wonderful service called DropBox which we have been using since summer of 2011.  DropBox has a free service level, and some pay-for-service levels.  Fortunately, their free service will accommodate videos up to 2,000 megabyte to start.  That's about two hours worth of high-def video!  And unlike the video services like Vimeo, you can store any kind of file on Dropbox.

How to do it?  Go to and create an account; it only takes a minute and all you need is an email address and a password.

This will create a new 'folder' on your computer 'desktop'.  The next step is easy, amazing, and fun.  Simply 'drag and drop' your video into the dropbox folder on your computer that was just created ... ....  and wait.  Depending on the size of your video, this could take a while... a long while, depending on the size of your video and the speed of your internet connection.

Now, go back to Dropbox and sign in.   Look for the blue drawing of a box on the top left of the page and click "files" and look for your video.  Now, mouse over the file name of your video and a drawing of a paperclip will appear on the right side.

Mouse over the paperclip and it will say "share link", then click it.  Dropbox will not give you the information to provide a link to your video.  All you have to do is email that link to whoever you want to be able to view your video.  They do not even have to sign up.  Isn't this neat?

There are ways to make your video private or public.  The online help at DropBox will give you all the instructions.

When it's time to pay......

If you are eventually going to want to store a huge amount of data, like 25 DVDs or backup your business, then you should consider a pay service.  Dropbox will let you store 100 GB for $99 per year, but there is a better deal from JTK that also includes website hosting, 100 email accounts, and 10 databases for only $57 per year.  JTK (which we use for this website and email) is a full internet service company with a support team available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

3. Send a link to a 'hosted' video

To send one of these videos, it is easiest to simply send a link in an email.  With some practice you will might be able to embed the video into your email using the 'embed' code that those sites provide.  Note that this will not work with many email programs that your recipient might be using.  A 'hosted' video is a video that already exists on a website.  A very common example is a video on Youtube™ or Vimeo™

During, or after, viewing the video, look for a button or link called "share" or "link to this video" and click it.  You will then see a string of text that begins with http://www.    Copy that whole string of text and paste it into the email you are sending.   The procedure to "copy" and "paste" the link will vary a little bit by computer and website, but here is the general procedure.

These instructions assume you are right-handed.   Right click your mouse over the text for the link; a small menu will appear.  Now left click on 'copy'.   Now go to your email and left-click your mouse in the text you are sending to place your cursor where you want the link.  Then 'right-click' your mouse, select 'paste' and left-click paste.   The link will be inserted into your email.

Youtube™ and Vimeo™, and others, unfortunately lay claim to YOUR hard work.  You need to read the fine print.  They can sell your work to others and never give you a penny.  They can insert advertisements into your work and never give you a penny.  Another disadvantage is that you have no control over what other content is suggested to your viewers; after watching a video of your daughter's wedding, they might be encouraged to watch a video of a teenager puking from excessive drinking.  To eliminate this concern, you should consider hosting the video yourself.

If you host the video yourself, you will have complete control over its environment and, if desired, you can even control who has access to your video.   Self-hosting is easy; perhaps you already have a website account, perhaps you already are free using shared hosting.  For just two dollars per month or so, you can have complete control over your video hosting.  Not just video, but any kind of digital information that you wish to share or backup.  You can select if the content is password protected, or available to anyone that knows the link.  You would email the link to your friends or business associates as described earlier.

5. Can you make money sending videos?

Yes.  There are to do this.  Unfortunately, you can NOT do this with the free services like Vimeo (they make their money from your video, so they will not let you make money using their service.) 

11.) Create webpages for your videos, photographs, articles, whatever, and then sign up for Google Adsense™, like we here at have done.  If you know how to create web pages, you can get full featured website hosting with backups and 24 hour staff for less than $5 per month.  If you do not want to bother to learn html, then simply sign up for Website Tonight™ or Wordpress Blog Hosting, then choose a template, edit your information and start earning :-)

2.) Start an email list.  Yes, if you are doing videos about a particular subject, hobby, or community organization, you can very simply start an email list.  Eventually, when your list grows, people will want to pay to put their ads in your videos, or in your emails.  And, since you own the list, you can turn down ads that you do not agree with.

You probably already are subscribed to one or more email lists.  This is how they work.

Choose a pre-designed email template, or create your own style of email, and include your video(s).  Then once per week, or once every two weeks, or once per month, write one email that would be of interest to your subscribers.  Click send.  Then your email is automatically sent to all of those people, whether that is 10 or 10,000 people.   The system automatically adds the legally required 'unsubscribe link' etc to keep you in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act.  A complete email list system is as little as $10 per month.

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