An eTour of a Pink Slip

Atlanta-based eTour wants to help you surf without having to search.

But the “personal tour guide of the Web,” which also has offices in San Francisco, got a little too personal for 37 of its employees today as it laid off 25% of its staff in an effort to cut costs.

“Our service does not change at all,” assures Ted Creech, VP of Communications at eTour. “This is a very responsible plan that we’ve put together to assure the long-term health of the business. I think it will help make us cash flow positive by the end of the year.”

eTour’s shopping service works like personalized shopping assistant, giving users a detailed “eTour” of the Web based on customized information provided to the company upon registration. The service also enables keyword additions to further narrow each search, subsequently ticking off a slide show view of sites within the companies 10,000+ database that may (or may not) have what a user is looking for.

Type in “climbing,” for example, and you’ll be taken to everything from sites selling mountain gear to sites selling books on how to ascend the corporate ladder. The majority of the company’s revenue comes from advertisers, currently numbered at around 600, that pay eTour to deliver highly targeted users.

“We’re looking at leveraging our 4.7 million member base from a sales perspective to generate additional revenue, as well as pursuing major strategic alliances with large partners,” adds Creech. “This has some effect in how we structure our marketing efforts, hence the layoffs.”

Creech says the layoffs came from within just about every department, including sales and development teams in San Francisco.

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