Toyota offers up superb proof of The Long Tail

I bought my Toyota Prius a few years ago and had quite an experience buying the extended service warranty: an experience that not only let me save almost $1000, but also created a situation where I was able to blog about how I saved so much on my warranty, for the benefit of many, many people on the Internet since then.
Start by reading my original blog entry: Toyota Prius Insider Tip: Saving Money on your Extended Service Warranty and then my AskDaveTaylor entry: Where can I buy a Prius extended warranty?
Note the many, many comments on that entry too, all from people thanking me for helping them also save quite a few dollars on their Toyota (NYSE: TM) purchase.
Now go to Google and search for Prius Warranty. Can you see that I’m #2, just after Toyota Corporation? Scroll down a bit further and my other article is at #6.
After receiving maybe my twentieth thank you note from a happy reader, I called up Troy Dietrich of Toyota of Greenfield to chat about the situation, and during the conversation mentioned that a small commission would be a very cool secondary outcome.
That’s why, many months later, I am delighted to have received a check for $690.00 from Troy and the following letter…

Hi Dave, I can’t possibly thank you enough for your posting on your “Ask Dave Taylor” blog regarding your experience in purchasing the extended service plan for your Prius. I am amazed… I am getting far more calls from people stating Dave Taylor sent them now (nearly two years later!) than I ever did when it was first posted. It must be that somehow it’s managed to work its way up the rankings in the search engine listings over the last few years.

“When you first posted… or discussed posting it with me, I recall your hoping to work out some sort of referral fee for referrals that I received from your site. And unfortunately I am working with such a slim margin on these that I am really unable to do something like that on a continuing basis. However, here is a check for $690.00… the sale price you originally paid for the plan on your car. It’s the very least I can do, for advertising I couldn’t buy if I wanted to! Please, go out and buy yourself something nice, with my warmest and most heartfelt thanks. Also, if there’s every anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
What an amazing letter to receive, and really, what a splendid demonstration of “The Long Tail” and of how good blog entries and Web pages can work their way up the search engine results, with unintended and wonderful results.
This is one reason that I counsel my clients to take the long view of blogging as a business tool, not to worry about how to catch the latest gossip or hot topic, but to write about key ideas and concepts that are important to their particular industry. With a little bit of patience, your simple blog entries can clearly produce amazing results.
Troy, thanks so much for the $690. I think that makes me the very first Prius owner who ended up with a completely free extended warranty. And I still love the car too!

3 comments on “Toyota offers up superb proof of The Long Tail

  1. I wish more of the dealerships would appreciate the word of mouth aspect of the internet as Toyota Of Greenfield does. Big props to you for saving us average joes a buck on the warranty.

  2. It’s seems odd the only Praise T-of-G gets, is for buying there extended warranty. We bought a car 3 months ago and didn’t, based on what they told us they did to the car prior to our signing.
    Unfortunately the BRAND NEW CLUTCH system, they said they had done-was not performed at all!!
    My son wanted to purchase a celica from a dealer in Nashua. I said no, we’re going to buy local.
    Guess I was wrong.

  3. Sorry you had a bad experience, Mike, but you can see the impossibility of reporting problems online: how can we know if your story is legitimate or if you’re just trying to badmouth the company without justification? I’d contact Toyota regional offices, by the way, and see what you can do to gain satisfaction if you feel that they haven’t treated you well locally.

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