by Mara Shorr, B.S., CAC II-XII and Jay A. Shorr, B.A., MBM-C, CAC I-XII
Men and women are incredibly different, especially when talking about what makes them push the purchase button while surfing a website or what leads them to pick up the phone to make an appointment at the spa. If skin care professionals are looking to grow their male client base, making a concentrated effort has a stronger effect on their results than assuming their existing efforts will do double duty.
Professionals looking to market their services to men should begin by retargeting their current services to hold a special, male twist. For example, focus should be given on services like a gentleman's facial, back facials and waxing, and a sports massage. If the skin care professional is currently offering treatments that focus more on the medical-spa or surgical component, they should consider abdominal contouring as well. Get creative, but always think, "Would a man want this service?" Ask existing male clients about other services they would like to see inside the spa or practice and do not hesitate to inquire with female clients about services that would entice their spouses or other men in their lives. While there are a number of services that are the same for both genders, a little creativity with re-naming the treatments may just do the trick.
When marketing to the existing clients, both male and female, be sure to let them know about the new services that are being offered, as men will tell other men and women will tell the men in their lives. This can only happen, however, if they know about the services. Keeping the services on a hidden menu amongst the staff does not do anyone any good. Utilize male clients to bring in female clients, and
TAILORING SERVICES TO MEN
Skin care professionals can also design a special marketing campaign with male-focused graphics. If so, avoid using the pinks and purples that so often go with more feminine promotions. Try using visuals of men in the marketing itself, both in the realm of male models, as well as before and after photos of male clients. Include promotional posters and brochures to place around the spa and incorporate this campaign into the existing paid advertising; let the press know about the new and innovative male services that are now available to the community. Also include the services and graphics throughout the spa's website and be sure to speak with the website vendor and social media management team about the new goals. Make sure that the digital presence also includes these goals.
MARKETING THE MESSAGE
Make it easy for prospective clients to act on the message. When offering promotions during certain times of the year, such as Father's Day, make it easy for clients to take advantage of the offer with clear, easy-to-grasp calls to action. Using wording such as 'Call (phone number) today!', 'Click here to buy a gift certificate!', and 'Reorder skin care products here!'. Clients do not like having to search for what they are looking for and will often get sidetracked if they do not find it right away. In addition, impulse buys will be lost if the offer is not made instantly noticeable and appealing. Big, bold buttons on both the spa's website and its e-newsletter are key. Make the offer obvious and enticing.
Be sure to keep male clients updated and interested in current offers and specials, even when they are not at the spa. For example, send the male clients and their wives, girlfriends, sisters, or daughters e-mail messages about body hair removal, tattoo removal specials, and easy gift purchasing during the holidays. Do not assume that the male client is planning his calendar of aesthetic services and mapping his way into the spa; feed him exactly what makes sense for him at any given moment.
Of course, these specials include the gift giving season for the women in his life as well. Try running a promotion that lets the male clients know that now is the time to buy the woman in his life a service, product, or treatment. Anything that helps men avoid shopping malls will make them grateful, so consider marketing services for female clients to the males, angling the idea as gift giving.
A strong online store is extremely beneficial for a spa. This includes opportunities where clients can purchase both products and services, helping to cut down on phone calls during busy sales seasons and allowing clients to purchase a package and make an appointment during hours that the spa is not open.
GETTING INVOLVED THROUGH COLLABORATION
When looking to grow the male client base, fish where the fish are. Think about where within a 10-mile radius of the spa that men may be found and meet with the business owner to collaborate together. For example, golf clubs, gyms, barber shops, high-end car and boat dealerships, clothing stores, massage entities, and sporting goods stores often bring in image-conscious men to the businesses. A collaboration between businesses could prove beneficial for everyone involved. Offer a discount to their members for the first time service at the spa and treat their receptionist for free, or with a significant discount, to allow them to share their experiences.
If the opportunity arises to have a lunch and learning session in a corporate setting, which can include both men and women, it may be a wonderful idea to have an educational forum focused on skin care and skin cancer prevention. This is a great service provided by employers; health insurance companies have also embraced these types of programs as well.
Offer skin care and sunscreen specials for attending and, of course, provide samples of private label products in addition to those samples that the vendors have provided. These promotional giveaways should also include the spa's brochure. Offer a raffle to give a free microdermabrasion treatment. This offers an opportunity to capture additional e-mail addresses for those who had an interest.
Professionals may even want to perform a brief skin care screening. If it is determined that any suspicious conditions are present, this can allow them to bring the client back to the spa for a further follow up,
Even consider having a collaborative referral network with an urologist who can send referrals to the spa.
When luring in a male client by means of a woman, work with those within the wedding industry to bring in future grooms wanting to look their best for the big day. For example, wedding coordinators are often key opinion leaders with a number of great connections, as are local bridal magazines and theknot.com. Promote his-and-her packages for those men that may be intimidated to come in alone.
Also try hosting a guy's night at the spa that is centered around a specific game. Serve bit-sized snacks, like Swedish meatballs and pretzels, instead of a fruit and cheese, and offer them a sampling of the services as well. Making a connection with one of the local sports bars and offering a raffle where a percentage of the proceeds go to charity is another way to promote services. Everyone loves knowing that part of their investment will be going to a great cause.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Once men start to schedule appointments, remember to keep it simple. Men function on a need-to-know basis. Keep this in mind with male interactions. Give him the basics but do not make him feel like his time is being wasted by chatting away to make him feel welcome, as is common with female clients. Be friendly, of course, but keep it basic when checking him in, scheduling his next appointment, and performing his services.
This simplicity should extend to his skin care routine. Women have no problem layering their skin care products and following strategic instructions to banish acne and age spots alike. However, most men like a more simplified routine. While professionals should still focus on skin care sales, keep it to a select few products, like a cleanser, a sunscreen, and an evening moisturizer, unless his skin truly warrants more, like an acne regimen, for instance. In addition, consider making sample size bottles for male clients to try before buying.
Be sure to remind male clients about their appointments ahead of time. Technology allows spas to automate this process and makes the staff's lives easier than ever. While the staff should be calling clients to remind them of their appointments the day before the appointment itself, many electronic health records and electronic medical records software systems now include reminder software inside the system itself. If that is not the case with a spa's current software, they should look for one that includes text message reminders, e-mail reminders, and even voice reminders that are sent to clients automatically. Most software also allows professionals to set up an automatic message that goes out to clients that have gone a pre-designated period without returning to the spa for an appointment. A three month period is recommended. When utilizing this feature, however, make sure that updated contact information is collected for every client that walks through the door, as phone numbers and e-mail addresses change often. Remember, do not lose a client simply because they forget to call to make the appointment!
Mara Shorr, B.S., CAC II-VI, serves as the company's vice president of marketing and business development. She is level II-VI certified aesthetic consultant, utilizing her knowledge and experience to help clients achieve their potential. She is also a national speaker and writer.
Jay A. Shorr, B.A., MBM-C, CAC I-VI, is the founder and managing partner of The Best Medical Business Solutions, assisting medical practices with the operational, financial, and administrative health of their business. He is also a professional motivational speaker, an advisor to the Certified Aesthetic Consultant Program, and a certified medical business manager from Florida Atlantic University.