SPA MARKETING: How to Lure Men Using ALL of Your Spa Menu

Armando Sanchez


One of the best ways to endear your spa to male clients is via superb massage services. Most men are familiar with them, but may not have considered seeking treatment at a day spa.

What’s the best way to get him to try massage?
Patterson: Massage is easy, because it’s the one service men are used to receiving. Get them to try it at an event, or promote ‘sports massage’ at local sporting events, and they’ll get hooked! Great massage offerings are probably why about 40% of my clients are men.
Knowlton: We pay attention to local marathon and athletic tradeshow schedules. We’ll provide on-site chair/table massages at these events; it’s a great way to market the spa to men.
Riego: It’s a matter of positioning and messaging. Men respond to performance and results-driven services, so offering a good, solid 30-minute treatment is a good way to lure in a first-timer.

What are some typical challenges faced when marketing massage to men?
Patterson: By far the biggest feat is getting them in the door. But once they experience what you have to offer and they understand what it is you are selling, they can become some of the most loyal customers. After all, who doesn’t like a healing touch?
Ramirez: They take a little longer than women to respond to, say, a print ad or newspaper article, so patience is key. But the flip side is, once they come to your spa and experience the benefits, they are yours. You also can’t rely on word-of-mouth with men, as they tend to be very discreet about their spa visits. They most likely will not tell their friends about you, and it certainly won’t be a topic of conversation during a Giants game.
Dubois: We have an email club with more than 12,000 names, and we’ve hosted an annual Men’s Spa Night, which gives potential clients an opportunity to come in and experience mini-spa service samplings. Massage at these events have been very successful.
Ramirez: I started using a public relations firm back in 2007, and it has done wonders for my brand. Men are more likely to visit a spa after reading a blurb or an article about its superb massages and facilities in a respectable publication. Flyers and gym coupons did not really work for us.
Knowlton: We have a corporate wellness program through which we go into companies’ offices to perform chair massage. Working directly with these professionals has helped us to attract a lot of regular male clients.

Any pointers for pros performing men’s massage services?
Komaiko: Make sure there’s a white robe and a blanket available.
Riego: Also, make sure he’s covered adequately, with correct-sized robes. Keep his feet warm so he’s not distracted. Also, remember that men seek consistency and symmetry in a service experience. They want you to anticipate their needs rather than having to ask for, say, a preferred room temperature. And they appreciate little things—a scalp massage may not be part of the protocol, for example, but if you know or sense he wants it, incorporate it. A majority of men do request female service providers.

Got any tricks for upselling add-ons during massage services?
Dubois: A thorough pre-service consultation is crucial—ascertain whether he seeks more of a relaxation or therapeutic massage. Explain the difference, and upgrade if necessary to make it more therapeutic.
Ramirez: It’s actually just as easy with men as with women. Educate them about the benefits of the add-on or treatment, and they will agree to it. Also, trust is very important here. Once guys get to know and trust the service provider, they’ll sign up for the entire spa menu. I have many guys who come for a massage and, by the next visit, want a facial, massage and body scrub. After a few weeks, I even have them coming to me for waxing and clipping.