January 14, 2002, 12:00 AM

EBags expands into e-mail marketing services – for others

The online luggage and bag store leverages its own experience and technology into an e-mail marketing program for handbag manufacturer Perlina.

EBags, the online seller of luggage and handbags, reached its first month of profitability in December – a plum for one of the last major pure-plays. Peter Cobb, vice president of marketing and co-founder, says the company’s holiday sales were up 30% over last holiday, while traffic was up 80%.

Driving much of that growth was eBags’ growing success in e-mail marketing, which is even getting the attention of other marketers. So now, eBags is handling e-mail campaigns for others. It’s already providing e-mail distribution services for a greeting cards manufacturer, and now it’s reaching out to the brands on its own site. It’s developing an e-mail program for handbag manufacturer Perlina, helping with content and providing the technology infrastructure for distribution. Customers will be able to click on a bag featured in e-mail they receive from Perlina to be delivered to the page on which the handbag appears on eBags’ site. Because of the direct link from the Perlina e-mails back to its own online store, eBags is providing the service to the manufacturer for free.

"Companies are telling us that they have a database of customer names but don’t really know how to communicate with them," Cobb says. "They say that the technology is not their area of expertise – but it’s something we’re very familiar with."

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