Sputter erosion often leads to the development of surface ripples. Here we investigate the effect of the ripples on the secondary ion yield, by calculating the yield as a function of the microscopic parameters characterizing the ion cascade ~such as penetration depth, widths of the deposited energy distribution! and the ripples ~ripple amplitude, wavelength!. We find that ripples can trongly enhance the yield, with the magnitude of the effect depending on the interplay between the ion and ripple characteristics. Furthermore, we compare our predictions with existing experimental results.