You won’t only find men in sports bars and on the golf course these days. You should be finding a lot of them at your spa or massage practice.  A study conducted by the International Spa Association (ISPA) a few years ago found that men make up nearly half – 47 percent - of the spa-going population in the U.S.

ISPA describes the average male spa-goer between 25 and 44, employed at a management-level position and more likely to report higher levels of stress than non-spa-going males. Male spa goers also report higher levels of physically strenuous activity both inside and outside work, ISPA notes.

When asked what specific features influenced their decision to visit a spa, the top features men listed were: cleanliness, amenities, ambience and staff expertise. Men also indicated they were particularly interested in treatments to relieve sore muscles.

With stress management and sore muscles among the top issues for male spa-goers, it’s not surprising that  massage is the most sought after treatment. Some 83 percent of men have tried massage, which was more than double the next most popular offering -- fitness classes at 43 percent. 

Build up your male clientele

If your spa or massage practice hasn’t yet experienced an increase in male clients, there are some things you’ll want to consider to attract more men.

Redo your decor: Spas were traditionally designed to appeal to women in color and motif. But with men on the scene, you need to create a more gender neutral environment using neutral colors to set the tone. Individual privacy becomes more of an issue, too, when men are part of the equation. You may want to create separate waiting rooms and private salons for services such as facials that many men might find intimidating to receive in a public setting. Having a greater mix of male and female employees and therapists also can help men feel more comfortable.

Create a special men’s menu: Men need to feel that the treatment “is working," so they generally prefer deep tissue and sports massage to relax and soothe muscles that have taken a pounding from sports and exercise. When it comes to body treatments, a scrub using Dead Sea salts can accomplish this need to ‘feel the results.’  Also be sure to adjust the names of your services to make them more appealing to men.

Emphasize benefits and results in marketing: Often the best way to reach the first-time male customer is through your current female clients, who may choose a gift certificate to your spa or massage practice as a birthday or holiday gift for the special man in their life. You’ll also want to develop a campaign specially geared to male clients. Since men are results oriented, use language in your marketing to men that convey the benefits of your treatments and highlight the results they can expect.

As part of your marketing, you may want to host a special “men’s night” to introduce men to a massage and other service samplings. Taking chair massage to corporations is another way to showcase your services to men – and others - in a familiar environment. Volunteering chair massage on site at sporting events is another way to gain visibility for your spa or massage practice.

Once male clients are in the door, ask questions to learn more about their needs and expectations so that you can adjust your services as necessary to meet them.