Grow Your Spa Business by Marketing to Men

Attract the other half of the population with male-centric services, no-nonsense language and the promise of practical benefits.
spa-men
If you own a spa, women shouldn't be your only customers. Learn from other spa owners how they market to men. (Photo: Poznyakov/Shutterstock)

According to The Day Spa Association, one of the top trends affecting spas is the greater focus on men. And it’s no wonder: In 2013, an International Spa Association (ISPA) Foundation study conducted by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers found that men now represent 47 percent of the spa-going population in the United States.

Use these ideas to get them in your spa.

Create a men’s service menu

Men are highly loyal clients once they get spa services, says Wayne Moura, lead master stylist at Karamel Hair & Day Spa.

Men are highly loyal clients once they get spa services, says Wayne Moura, lead master stylist at Karamel Hair & Day Spa. (Photo: Wayne Moura)

The ISPA study found that men who go to spas are most likely to get a massage, take a fitness class, try a pedicure/manicure or book a facial. Those services should be explained in male-centric language in a separate men’s menu, said Wayne Moura, the lead master stylist who helps market Karamel Hair & Day Spa in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

“Custom-tailor a specific men’s menu.” he advised. “Include packages for men’s massages, pedicures and facials. Create an express menu for men who are in a hurry or on a lunch break.”

What makes a men’s service menu different from a woman’s? Straightforward, no-nonsense language that avoids words like “pampering.” And no “tropical-themed body wraps.”

“Language is very important when it comes to men’s spa brochures,” said Lisa Walt, vice president of Design 1 Salon Spa, which has five locations around Grand Rapids, Michigan. “We have a sports massage and a deep-tissue massage because those appeal to men. Promoting special packages just for men takes a lot of the guesswork out of it for them.”

Explain the practical benefits of the services instead of just handing men a menu.

“Whenever a man looks at our menu, we talk to him and focus on education,” explained Claudia Alvarado, spa director at William Wesley Grand Salon and Spa in Davenport, Iowa. “Many men don’t realize they have a concern that can be addressed in a spa environment.”

Market in-house first

Lisa Walt, vice president of Design 1 Salon Spa, designed the men’s locker room in her new location in shades of blue and included men’s shower and hair products. (Photo: Lisa Walt)

Lisa Walt, vice president of Design 1 Salon Spa, designed the men’s locker room in her new location in shades of blue and included men’s shower and hair products. (Photo: Lisa Walt)

The easiest way to get men to try spa services is to ask your female clients to invite them. It’s also wise to cross-promote your hair and spa services.

“We have many men who get cuts in the salon, so the stylists suggest a spa service and offer a percentage off if the man books one that day,” said Walt. “Within the spa, we’ve seen a rise in men’s facials, so now we’ve started cross-promoting men’s massages with facials.”

Promote events that get the whole family in on the act and get your stylists to promote them, advised Scott Gerrish, M.D., owner of Bellini Salon and Spa and Gerrish MedEsthetics in Vienna, Virginia.

“We recently held Beer and Braids, a daddy-daughter event during which stylists taught fathers how to

A technique called microblading has been a big hit with men who have thick brows according to Jeffrey LaMorte, owner of three Jeffrey LaMorte Salon Day Spas. (Photo: Jeffrey LaMorte)

A technique called microblading has been a big hit with men who have thick brows, according to Jeffrey LaMorte, owner of three Jeffrey LaMorte Salon Day Spas. (Photo: Jeffrey LaMorte)

create a basic bun, braid and ponytail on their daughters,” he said. “The daughters got a wash-out streak of color added to their finished styles and the dads got to sample tastings from the Craft Beer Company and learned about our services.”

Another idea, from Jeffrey LaMorte, who owns three Jeffrey LaMorte Salon Day Spas in Frankfort, Orland Park and Lemont, Illinois: Sign up men who get cuts for a spa club. Explained LaMorte, “They pay a certain monthly fee that entitles them to a specific number of massages at a discount rate. Once a year, they can give one massage to a friend.”

Meet men on their own turf

To market to men outside your business, go where they are.

LaMorte said he takes his therapists to local sporting events, like 5K races. “At the finish line, they demonstrate that they have sports-massage knowledge.”

Moura went to cigar and whisky bars and explained the benefits of spa services to the owners and managers. “They’re the influencers. Then, I got them involved in holding scotch and beer tastings in the spa, which works wonders for bringing men through the door.”

Partner with businesses men patronize

Having a physician-owned spa is an advantage that encourages men to cross over from the salon, says Dr. Scott Gerrish, owner of Bellini Salon and Spa and Gerrish MedEsthetics. (Photo: Scott Gerrish)

Having a physician-owned spa is an advantage that encourages men to cross over from the salon, says Dr. Scott Gerrish, owner of Bellini Salon and Spa and Gerrish MedEsthetics. (Photo: Scott Gerrish)

Working with other local businesses is a tried-and-true method of bringing in more clients. Dr. Gerrish found a promotional partner who could extend the benefits of his services. “Since we do a lot of body contouring with CoolSculpting, we partnered with a small local home-fitness business that could enhance the results with lifestyle and wellness modifications,” he said.

Walt partnered with a major fitness club. “We got the club to include a $10 discount coupon in their welcome package for men and place mirror clings promoting our business in their men’s locker room.”

Others businesses to consider partnering with include chiropractors, nutritionists, acupuncturists, personal trainers, physical therapists and plastic surgeons. “Set up a cross-referral situation,” said Alvarado. “The best place to connect with these professionals is at community wellness events. They’re also great places for us to tell men what we do.”

It really is as easy as finding men, marketing to them and educating them about the many health, wellness and appearance benefits of services you offer. “Once a guy tries it and likes it, he’ll tell all his friends, and you’ll have your market share of men,” said Moura.

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