The Gym Group, the UK’s first low-cost chain of health clubs, has attracted more than 20,000 new members with a website and online campaign created by search and social media specialist White Hat Media.

The Gym Group, which has five gyms in Surrey, London, Liverpool and Manchester, has been widely covered in the press due to its new approach to facilities, membership costs and contracts. The gym is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and membership costs are between £9.99 and £14.99 per month. There are no contracts and customers are free to leave at any point.

Four gyms in London, Surrey and Liverpool opened between November 2007 and October 2009. Manchester is due to open on 30 November.

White Hat Media was appointed to create a straightforward, user-friendly website that provided a paperless membership system and secure members’ area, as well as setting out the benefits of joining The Gym Group. An SEO campaign has generated huge awareness online - one gym in London has seen 5,000 people sign up as a result of the activity.

“We operate very much like low-cost airlines – the website is the hub of the whole operation,” said John Treharne, CEO of The Gym Group. “We’re very different to traditional gyms in that we don’t sign up members face to face. Everything that members or potential members want to do or find out, they go online. White Hat Media recognised this and has built a unique online membership management system, to deliver the user-friendly online experience that our customers want.”

The Gym Group intends to open between 10 and 12 new gyms each year from 2010, with all online marketing pointing consumers towards the website, which is the only way to join. The membership management system enables users to easily control their account, register their induction for a daily or monthly membership and keep track of their gym attendance. Users can also take virtual tours of the gyms and browse a directory of personal trainers.

“The Gym Group is innovative, forward-thinking and offers superb value for money to its customers,” said Jeremy Spiller, MD of White Hat Media. “We needed to create online awareness and an entirely web-based experience for consumers. Our SEO and social media campaigns have generated huge numbers of website visits and sales. We are working together on various ongoing online marketing activities to further drive sales and increase brand awareness.”

About White Hat Media
White Hat Media (www.whitehatmedia.com) is a specialist web marketing and development agency, focusing on search and social media. The team is comprised of design, development and ecommerce experts. Although based in the UK the company works for clients, mainly large and medium sized, throughout the world. The White Hat Media management team have all had more than ten years’ experience working with the web. White Hat Media has built and run marketing campaigns for clients including Toshiba, Yardley, private equity house 3i and B2B publisher Centaur Media.

Published on: 12:06PM on 20th October 2009