You will note that the heading is a question. This is not a list of clichés to avoid like the plague, but more when you can use them to your advantage. You should exercise care, but you can say that about all words in an email marketing campaign.
Some clichés are pleonasms, such as bent out of shape. Bent would do just as well. There are others that are as familiar in the mouth as household words so can be used as a shorthand. OK, enough with the clichés. I can assure you there’s an end to it.
There are action films that use caricatures, a visual cliché if ever there was one, as a way of shortening the introduction to a film. If half a dozen combatants are going to be killed in the first half hour, then there’s little time to build their backstories. A classic example of this is the film Aliens. The director eschewed the slow build-up of the original film of the series and instead we had one-dimensional soldiers whose basic characteristics we could relate to.
Use the same ploy; for instance, cross that bridge. It’s a contracted version of the full cliché, but everyone knows what you mean and it gives a little boost to the reader as you are showing that you trust them to fill in the rest of it. Other examples of contracted clichés include don’t count your chickens. It’s the perfect way to shorten marketing emails.
For instance, you can’t rewrite ‘red herring’ any shorter. In fact, a dictionary definition runs to 16 words. There are times when you should use a well-known phrase, as it transmits the message in as few words as possible.
Most apt for a marketing email where the cost saving is slight could be a penny saved. Your meaning is clear and it requires no great mental effort from the reader to work out what you mean.
The use of some might be custom-made (sorry) for a type of product. Selling glasses? Then eye to eye should a shoe-in. An image of two bespectacled people springs to mind.
Used sparingly, clichés are an effective tool.